The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the Federal Government would prosecute Nigerians who accessed the American microblogging platform, Twitter, including General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and his counterpart from Deeper Life, Williams Kumuyi after the Central Government imposed a ban on their operations after pulling down President Muhammed Buhari comment and videos on the country’s civil war that ended 50 years ago.
Mohammed added that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has been empowered to ensure that Nigerians that violated the pronouncement by the apex government protect Nigeria’s sovereignty and prevent the breakdown of law and order in the country.
The Minister gave the assurance yesterday during an interview with newsmen when he was asked what the Central Government would be doing on clerics and other Nigerians that have violated the directives banning Twitter services across Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Adeboye and Kumuyi had justified their exception for using Twitter with Article 19 of the United Nations, UN, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The clerics, in a statement posted on their official social media handles, claimed their personal and church accounts on the social networking service platform, Twitter, remain an integral part of their evangelism tool which they use in reaching out to millions of their congregations and that adhering to Federal Government directives would be to deny them access to worship.
They argued that denying their members, scattered across over 170 nations, access to inspirational messages through the platform would amount to a violation of their fundamental human rights.
However, Mohammed insisted in the interview that Nigerians who accessed Twitter, including Adeboye, after the ban, would be prosecuted, stressing that the use of Twitter was undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“The government has suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, and the government
“Also directed the National Broadcasting Commission to immediately commence the process of licencing all social media operations in Nigeria.
“The attorney-general has made it clear that if anyone violates the regulation, that such person will be prosecuted. I think it is the right of the attorney-general to decide who to prosecute,” he said.