…Nigerians should not participate in June 12 programme organised by FG
Human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, says it is hypocritical for the government of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to celebrate the ideals of the June 12 mandate when the same regime violates the freedom of expression by Nigerians.
He made this known in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday titled, ‘Boycott June 12 Events In Protest Of Twitter Ban And Media Censorship’.
Adegboruwa, therefore, urged all Nigerians, especially activists, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and all lovers of democracy, not to participate in any programme or event that may be organised by the Buhari regime in commemoration of the June 12, 1993, election, this year.
Buhari had in June 2018 directed the nation’s Democracy Day to hold on June 12 of every year as against the previous arrangement where the ceremony was held on May 29. The announcement was perceived to be in honour of the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 Presidential election, which was annulled by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
However, Adegboruwa said Buhari and his government have failed to uphold the ideals of June 12 with the recent suspension of micro-blogging platform, Twitter.
He said, “It will be hypocritical of the government to claim to celebrate the ideals of the June 12 mandate, when the same government is in gross violation of the freedom of expression by people it claims to govern, through its illegal ban of Twitter and the unwarranted censorship of all media organisations. June 12 represents total freedom, the free expression of the will of the people, justice, equality and respect for human rights.
“The decision of the government to suspend the operations of Twitter and to force media organisations to comply therewith, are contrary to the spirit of June 12.
“As a mark of protest in rejecting the suspension, all Nigerians of good conscience should isolate the government by boycotting all programmes and events that may be slated for the celebration of the June 12 election, until the exit of the present Buhari administration.”
“We cannot continue to live in a nation where the exercise of the fundamental and constitutional rights of citizens depends on the personal idiosyncrasies of those in power, where the institutions of State are deployed whimsically, to settle personal grievances, as President Buhari is doing in respect of his personal dispute with Twitter, for which all Nigerians are now subjected to forced solidarity,” Adegboruwa said.
He added, “It is unfortunate that the National Assembly could not find its voice in support of the people of Nigeria at this critical time when their rights are being trampled upon with crass impunity, by the executive arm of government.”
Last week, the regime of the President suspended Twitter operations in the country citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
The Buhari regime has since come under fire for what many termed as a restriction of the right of expression. The international community including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, amongst others have since knocked the Buhari regime for the action but the Federal Government has been unyielding in its stance insisting that the sovereignty of the West African nation must be respected by the tech giant in San Francisco.
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