The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday urged the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other members of the international community to impose a visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent suspension of Twitter operations in the country.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party urged the international community to extend the visa ban to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and his Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed over their alleged involvement in stifling of free speech in Nigeria.
PDP described the Twitter ban as a violation of the United Nations International Charter on Human Rights.
The statement read: “The PDP insists that banning Twitter in Nigeria is a clear 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.
“The party also urges the world bodies to also sanction the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as certain leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their individual ignoble roles in the ban imposed on Twitter in addition to associated harassments and threats to Nigerians.
“The PDP urges the countries to bar President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, Abubakar Malami, and their family members from entering their territories for any private purposes whatsoever.
“For the avoidance of doubt, 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 impart 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 the 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.”