Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and other members of the International Community to as a matter of urgency impose a visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet involved in stifling free speech in Nigeria.
In justifying its demand, the party believes that the ‘violation of UN international Charter on Human Rights by President Muhammadu Buhari by banning the use of Twitter in Nigeria’ was bad enough to attract such sanctions.
In a statement by the spokesman of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party reiterated that banning Twitter in Nigeria is a clear violation of Article 19 of the UN Charter as well as section 39 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guaranteed freedom of expression to all Nigerians.
‘The party also urges the world bodies to also sanction the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as certain leaders of the APC for their individual ignoble roles in the ban imposed on Twitter in addition to associated harassments and threats to Nigerians.
“The PDP urges the countries to bar President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, Abubakar Malami and their family members from entering their territories for any private purposes whatsoever.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, Article 19 of the UN Charter on Human Rights provides that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”
‘In the same vein, section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that ‘every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference’.
‘Our party holds that the trio of President Buhari, Lai Mohammed and Abubakar Malami and their agents cannot continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and rights extended by virtue of their offices in Nigeria, while at the same time blatantly flouting the UN Charter, which Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as the 1999 Constitution (as amended) upon which provisions they hold office.
‘This is more so as the stifling of information flow as being witnessed in the ban on Twitter further creates an enabling environment for abuse of human rights and acts of terrorism in our country.
‘The PDP calls on the international community to hold the trio of President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, and Malami responsible for the escalated abuse of human rights, constitutional violations as well as the situations that embolden terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and vandals in our country.
‘Furthermore, our party has commenced the compilation of list of APC leaders, involved in the infringing on the rights of Nigerians for onward transmission to the UN and other world bodies for sanctions’ the statement read.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK