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Twitter ban: Adeboye tweets, says action covered by UN Charter on Human Rights

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THE General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Enoch Adeboye has tweeted despite Nigerian government’s ban on Twitter.

Adeboye, who defied the ban on Monday, said his action was in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights,” he said.

Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Nigeria subscribes to, by the virtue of its membership in the UN, reads that:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

File: Pst. Adeboye’s tweet.

Minister of Culture and Information Lai Mohammed had announced the ban in a statement on Friday shortly after Twitter deleted a controversial and violent tweet by President Buhari.

The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) announced, in a statement on Saturday, that it had complied with the government directives. However, millions of Nigerians have continued to use the platform through Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

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The Nigerian government has, however, said it will lift the ban if only the platform can be used responsibly.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama gave the condition in a meeting with envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria on Monday.

Onyeama noted that the micro-blogging platform was not taken down because it was threatening the country, but the ban was meant to stop Twitter from being used for criminal activities.

“The condition would be responsible use of the social media and that really has to be it,” he said, when asked when the ban would be lifted.

“We are not saying that Twitter is threatening the country or any such thing. Why we have taken this measure is to stop them to be used as platforms for destabilisation and facilitation of criminality or encouragement of criminalities.”

The minister stressed that while the government would accommodate criticisms and diverse opinions, it would not sit back and watch social media become a tool for destabilising the country.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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