The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned the federal government against arresting and prosecuting those violating the Twitter ban, particularly pastors whose tweets were meant for their church members worldwide.
Amidst the public outrage that followed the Muhammadu Buhari government’s decision to ban the micro-blogging site, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, on Saturday directed the Director of Public Prosecution in his office to begin the process of prosecuting violators.
Many senior lawyers have faulted Malami’s position, saying Nigerians cannot be prosecuted for an offence that is not known to the nation’s law.
Among those who have been using the platform despite the suspension order are the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi; the Senior Pastor of the Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria, Pastor Sam Adeyemi; the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose; former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; and the representative of Kogi West Senatorial District in the Eighth National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye, among others.
Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant on Media to the President of CAN warned the Federal Government, said, “We caution the Federal Government against carrying out its threats against those highly respected leaders. What they did was justified after all they run churches with global outlook and they made it clear in their position. If they (government) carry out the threat, it will only compound problems in the country.
“Any government policy that suspends the fundamental rights of the citizens is not acceptable to us. The government should rise up to the menace of insecurity facing the country without harassing the innocent and elder statesmen.”