The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia and other members of the international community to impose visa bans on President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet for tampering with free speech in Nigeria.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the twitter ban by the Nigerian government is a violation of the UN’s International Charter on Human Rights.
The party said the ban is a 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.
PDP accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami of harassment and threats to life of Nigerians, and said US and the other countries should bar Buhari, the ministers and their family members from entering their countries.
According to the party, 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.”
It called on the international community to hold the trio 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,” PDP stated.