General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry Worldwide, Pastor William Kumuyi, yesterday tweeted despite the Federal Government’s ban on Twitter.
Minister of Culture and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had announced the ban on the microblogging platform in a statement on Friday shortly after Twitter deleted a controversial message by President Muhammadu Buhari. The ban, has, however, attracted condemnation from several individuals, rights groups and countries across
the world. Adeboye, who stated his position to continue tweeting on his verified handle, said his action was in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories.
The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights,” he said. Apart from this, Pastor Adeboye, with 1.8 million followers on the platform, noted thatwith more than 170 RCCG branches around the world, Twitter was an important tool in keeping in touch with them.
Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Nigeria subscribes to, by the virtue of its membership in the UN, reads that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Similarly, Kumuyi on his @pastorwf_kumuyi handle, says the Deeper Life Church has branches across 100 countries and five continents hence it can tweet from anywhere in the world. Kumuyi’s tweet, which came barely hours after that of RCCG’s Adeboye, said the content of his tweet is for the global audience where the church has branches.
He tweeted: “In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 nations and we share the content from any of these locations.”
However, they are not the only ones to go against government’s position on Twitter asseveral top Nigerian personalities have continued to use the platform. These include the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, among others.
The Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai, had also on Sunday evening shared a story via his Twitter handle.
Ironically, the story shared was also in support of the Twitter ban by the Nigerian government. Like his Kaduna counterpart, the Oyo State Governor, Makinde, has also remained active on the microblogging platform.
Makinde, who uses the platform to share updates from the state and activities of the government, on Sunday tweeted about the killings in a part of the state while calling for calm. “I have received the shocking news of the attacks on residents of Igangan, Ibarapaland, in the early hours of this morning.
I am currently being briefed on the incidents. I urge residents to remain calm as security operatives are now in control of the situation,” he tweeted.
Aside from the governor’s personal handle, the Oyo State government’s Twitter handle has also remained active as it continues to share activities of the state government Former Governor of Ekiti State
Ayodele Fayose, has also been one of the most active users of Twitter in the last three days. Fayose, in one of his several tweets after the ban, had dared the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who said anyone found using Twitter would be prosecuted.
“AGF Malami, I just tweeted. No shaking!” he tweeted. The former governor added that “anyone they arrest will only end up being celebrated. No one should be moved by empty threats of arrest. Certainly, what has a beginning must have an end. This dictatorial government came and shall definitely go. No shaking!”
Other personalities such as the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Ologbondiyan, social activist, Aisha Yesufu, have also remained active on the platform despite the ban. Meanwhile, many Nigerians have been using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to access Twitter