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THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, called on the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the international community to impose visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari for restricting free speech in Nigeria.
The party also urged the countries to ban Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and Minister of Information Lai Mohammed.
This was disclosed in a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, who described the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria as “stifling free speech in Nigeria.”
“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,” a section of the statement read.
The leading opposition party said the suspension of Twitter was 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.
“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 impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers,’” the statement read.
The party submitted 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. ”
Mohammed had announced Twitter ban in Nigeria last Friday. On the other hand, Malami had threatened to prosecute Nigerians accessing Twitter via the Virtual Private Network (VPN).