HUMAN Rights Activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has told the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to be ready to build thousands of prisons across all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria so as to accommodate the deluge of ‘erring’ Nigerians in the wake of the ban on Twitter operations in the country.
His statement followed the order given to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation to immediately prosecute offenders contravening the ban.
According to the SAN, this is allegedly a new game plan by the Federal Government to arrest the opposition and rights activists, among others.
He said in a statement that it would have been better if the All Progressives Congress Government had displayed such alacrity and sense of urgency as regards the grave insecurity challenges of the country, the parlous economy and the mounting corruption ravaging the nation.
Ozekhome stated, “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has just ordered the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation to immediately prosecute offenders contravening the Federal Government’s ban on twitter operations in Nigeria. Indeed he wants the DPP to liaise with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant Government agencies to ensure “speedy prosecution of offenders without further delay.
“How I wish that Malami’s APC Government, has displayed such alacrity and sense of urgency on the grave insecurity challenges of the country; the parlous economy and the mounting corruption ravaging our land.
“Malami did this with Lai Mohammed apparently being aware that many knowledgeable Nigerians had started to use different Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to clearly bypass the blockage.
“This government must be ready to build thousands of prisons across all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria so as to accommodate the deluge of ‘erring’ Nigerians.
“This government does not appear to have weighed carefully the serious implications of its actions and the likely ricochetting effects. Many Nigerians run global businesses with links and business partners across the world. They carry on business using the social media of Twitter. Secondly, many Nigerians, especially the jobless youth who have been rendered destitute by this thus anti-masses government.
“They rely heavily on legitimate income realized from the platform through advertisement of their products and services and act on behalf of their not so ICT-compliant clients who desire to reach out to the world banning Twitter is akin to what this government did in a kneel-jerk action on coming to power whether thoughtlessly banned Nigerians from operating their domiciliary foreign accounts. The naira has never recovered from this shock treatment.”
“Perhaps, more important is that the ban outrightly denies citizens of their individual and collective right to freedom of speech and right to freedom of expression and the press, contrary to section 39 of the Constitution. The cumulative effect of these negative acts is a serious blight on Nigeria’s image both at home and abroad,” he added.