The Federal Government is serious about the ban on the global microblogging site Twitter and it is determined to arrest and prosecute any citizen who violates this ban including renowned Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and William Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Church (DCLC).
This is the position of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who insisted that the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has the powers to prosecute anyone for violating the ban on Twitter.
During the past weekend, notable Nigerians, such as Governors Seye Makinde (Oyo State), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), Nasir El-rufai and some government officials defied the Federal Government ban over the weekend by using VPN platforms to circumvent the existing telecommunication protocols to tweet various messages.
Also, earlier on Monday, Pastor Adeboye posted on Twitter to express his views on the ban and insisted that in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nation’s universal declaration of human rights, he had not violated the ban.
He said that the Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations and Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.”
On his part, Kumuyi, who also defied the ban on Monday and said tweets shared on his page are targeted at a global audience resident in more than five continents and over 100 nations.
“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than 5 continents and over 100 Nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” he tweeted.
The Minister of Information and Culture was silent about the fate of government officials who defied the ban.
However, while reacting to the acts of defiance by Adeboye and Kumuyi, Alhaji Mohammed insisted that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had made it clear that anyone, no matter how highly placed, can be arrested and prosecuted.
He said Malami has made it clear that if anyone violates the regulation, such person will be prosecuted.
“I think it is the right of the Attorney-General to decide who to prosecute.
“The government has suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence and the government.
“The government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licencing all social media operations in Nigeria,” he said.