October 26, 2021

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Twitter Ban: Reps divided as PDP caucus stages walk out

The decision of the federal government to ban the operations of Twitter sparked a row at the plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had in his speech at the resumption of plenary announced the decision of the House leadership to summon the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to explain the rationale behind the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.

The House mandated its committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation to determine the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

Gbajabiamila said the committees have 10 days to carry out the assignment and report back to the House for further action.

But PDP’s Minority Caucus Leader, Rep Kingsley Chinda, coming under Point of Order, sought for an additional prayer to the decision taken by the leadership of the House, requesting that the House directs the Executive arm to suspend the ban on Twitter’s operations pending the conclusion of the interface between the House and the representative of the federal government.

He argued that allowing the ban to continue for the next 10 days would amount to an infringement on the rights of freedom of speech and expressions by the people, hence, the need for the additional prayer.

However, the Speaker ruled him out of Order, saying a decision had already been reached on the matter, adding that the only way Rep Chinda could come in would be by a way of motion.

But Rep Chinda, who was not comfortable with the decision of the Speaker staged a walkout of plenary with some other members of the PDP’s Minority Caucus, leading to a mild rowdy session.

The PDP Minority Caucus members addressed the press to expressed their displeasure over the decision of the Speaker.