Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has asked 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 planned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in remembrance of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, this year.
The present government had moved the traditional democracy day from May 29 of every year to June 12, 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.
In a statement issued in Lagos, Adegboruwa said it will be hypocritical of the government to claim to celebrate the principles 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 unjustified censorship of all media organisations.
The human rights lawyer declared further that 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, Adegboruwa urged all Nigerians of good conscience to 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.
He also berated the National Assembly for failing to do the will of the people as it 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.
“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.
Nigerian government last Friday announced it had banned Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The move came after the microblogging site deleted a comment posted by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he made reference to the Nigerian Civil War and vowing to punish Biafra agitators in the South-East in the “language they understand”.