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Twitter Ban: You Have No Right To Regulate Freedom Of Opinion, Elumelu Tells FG

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The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has described the “declaration” by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of lifting the ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria as a further demonstration of its appetite to ‘suppress’ constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria.

The caucus, in a statement on Friday by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, held that freedom of speech and opinion by Nigerians, including expressing such through social media tools like Twitter, were clearly guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and cannot be subjected to partisan approval or regulation under a democratic rule.

“That is why at the wake of the ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria in June 2021, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives forcefully condemned the decision as a provocative, obnoxious, and unjustifiable clampdown on the rights of Nigerians which also showed the APC government’s intolerance and aversion to the views, opinions, and aspirations of Nigerian citizens, especially the youths on matters of state,” Elumelu stated.

He added, “It was also in the light of that that the Minority Caucus in the National Assembly stood by the law and charged Nigerians to continue using Twitter irrespective of the unconstitutional ban since they would not be contravening any known law in Nigeria or any international statutes.

“Our caucus holds that the declaration of a lift on the ban on Twitter amounts to regulatory approval on freedom of speech, which is completely unknown to our laws. The APC government should rather be apologising to Nigerians for infringing on their rights as well as for the huge economic losses recorded as a result of the ban.”

The Minority Caucus insisted that instead of seeking to suppress free speech in our country, the APC government should be open to the views of Nigerians and make adjustments for the good of the nation.

It commended Nigerians for their resilience, innovations, and resistance to ‘suppression’ by the APC government and assured them that the caucus would not relent in fighting for the rights of the people at all times.

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BREAKING: APC Convention To Hold February 26, Says Buni

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni has announced February 26 as the date for the APC convention.

Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe State, said this on Tuesday at the national progressive women conference 2022 holding at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.

He said the party is counting on the support of women to hold a successful convention.


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Lagos Transporters To Pay ₦800 Daily Levy, Excluding RTEAN, NURTW Dues

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…Effective From February 1

Lagos State government, on Tuesday, introduced a daily ₦800 consolidated informal transport levy for transporters in the state.

The levy is outside the union dues collected by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

Lagos State finance commissioner, Dr Rabiu Olowo, who revealed this at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils and transport unions, said that the consolidated levy collection will start February 1.

He stated that the harmonized levy became expedient to ensure that the transport sector in the state is organised and fits into a 21st-century economy.

Olowo added that the consolidated levy takes into consideration all the elements in a sane society.

According to him, the levy takes care of dues previously accrued to local councils across the state, as well as revenue for Lagos Waste Management Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) among other MDAs.

He said that the state government expects that once a transporter pays the ₦800 at a point, he or she is expected not to pay at any other park or bus stop throughout the day.

He also said that the government expects that union members will not collect levies from transporters as they are not expected to pay at every bus stop or park.

Olowo said the consolidated levy would reduce the multiplicity of levies collection as many residents and transporters have complained about the huge levies unions often collected.

The commissioner also made an allusion to a report about the ₦150bn that transport unions collect in Lagos under the disguise of collecting dues, saying the new development will eliminate multiple taxes.

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House Of Reps To Reintroduce Electoral Act Amendment Bill Wednesday

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has disclosed that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, will be reintroduced Wednesday for a rework by the lawmakers.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in December rejected the Bill, citing issues with direct primary provisions.

Gbajabiamila, in his welcome address at the resumption of plenary Tuesday while chiding the appalling argument that lack of proper membership registration of the political parties was among the reasons why the Bill should be rejected, however stated that a credible electoral law is what the people want and that is what they will get.

He also assured Nigerians that the lawmakers will prioritize action to pass the constitutional amendment bill.

Thereafter, the lawmakers went into a close door session.


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