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Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate - Politics - Nairaland

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Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by dre11(m): 1:52pm On Jun 06
#TwitterBan: Nigerian lawmaker threatens to ground plenary if Gbajabiamila, others prevent debate

By Bakare Majeed

A member of the House of Representatives, Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue), has said he will try to halt Tuesday’s legislative proceeding if an attempt is made by the leadership of the House to stop members from discussing the ‘illegal Twitter ban.’

Mr Gbillah, who represents Gwer East/Gwer West federal constituency of Benue State, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, urged his colleagues in the National Assembly to abandon party loyalty and address the breach of Sections 35 and 39 of the Nigerian Constitution on the rights of Nigerians to free speech and freedom of expression.

The lawmaker said President Muhamadu Buhari would have faced an impeachment process if he had been the president of a more democratic country.

He said the ban is a confirmation that Mr Buhari’s administration has not been ruling according to the principles of the Constitution.

House Leadership’s Interventions

There have been instances where the House leadership has used technicalities to prevent the opposition from raising critical issues that concern the actions of the executive arm of government.

Mr Gbillah was once prevented by the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), from submitting a petition from the Mutual Union of Tivs in America (MUTA) on the killings in Benue. Mr Wase, who presided over the House sitting on that day, ruled that Nigerians living abroad had no right to submit a petition to the House even through a lawmaker.

It took protest by Nigerians in the Diaspora for the leadership of the House to allow Mr Gbillah to submit the petition.

Also, during the heat of the controversy surrounding the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Pantami, a point of privilege was raised by minority leader Ndudi Elumelu.

The matter was not allowed to be debated by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamia, who argued that Mr Elumelu raised the issue under the wrong protocol.

Also, during the ENDSARS protest, there was an altercation between the deputy speaker and Shina Peller (APC, Oyo), after the former, who presided over the plenary session, refused to allow Mr Peller the opportunity to raise a point of order.


The Twitter Ban

PREMIUM TIMES reported the ban of the microblogging site, Twitter, by the federal government.

This came two days after Twitter took down a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari which the microblogging site said violated its rules. Many Nigerians had described the tweet as a veiled threat of violence against the Igbo ethnic group while others disagreed saying it was targeted at perpetrators of violence.

Despite the ban, Nigerians have continued to access Twitter, through Virtual Private Network (VPN). However, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, announced that his ministry will prosecute Nigerians bypassing the restriction.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Mr Malami, in a statement on Saturday, directed the Director of Public Prosecution to liaise with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to prosecute Nigerians violating the ban.

So far, the leadership of the House and the Senate have not commented on the Twitter ban.

On Saturday, the European Union, alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland, issued a joint statement, expressing their opposition to the ban.

House Resumption

The House of Representatives is due to resume plenary on Tuesday, following a two weeks break for the zonal public hearing on the constitution review exercise.

Speaking on his planned action, Mr Gbillah said, “I will speak for myself, we will have to ensure that the proceedings of the House for that day are jettisoned if that kind of attempt is brought up again, either by the speaker or the deputy speaker.

“If our privilege is breached, which is enshrined in our laws, we will no longer lay low. If that is done, we will have to interrupt the proceedings of the House for the whole world to see that our hallowed chamber has become a partisan chamber, instead of the representative assembly that Nigerians expect.


“These are the actions I am willing to take, I am imploring my colleagues to tow the same line. The opposition will have to take a stand to ensure that the proceedings of the House do not go on if this issue is not tackled.”

Mr Gbilla said he would discourage his colleagues in the minority party from walking out of the House sitting if the matter is not allowed to be discussed.

“Staging a walkout, in my own opinion, is not enough. We have had a situation where hoodlums, led by the now deputy (senate) president (Ovie Omo-agege), came and removed the mace in the upper legislative chamber. Yet there is no consequence for this erosion of our democratic institution. It is time to rise to our responsibilities as those who represent the people.

“The president has failed to make comments on killer herdsmen, aside from periodic statements by Garba Shehu, where he goes about insulting people, including my governor, Samuel Ortom. I am not sure that Mr President has made any comment about 100 people killed along the Benue/Ebonyi border.”

The lawmaker also challenged Mr Malami to tell Nigerians which law he plans to use to prosecute people still using Twitter despite the ban.

According to Mr Gbillah, the attorney-general has not been giving President Buhari the right advice.

“I want to ask him, prosecution under what law. He should tell Nigerian s under what law they will be prosecuted. To be prosecuted by fiat of the executive. An unconstitutional fiat. This is how the attorney-general keeps displaying questionable conduct as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

“He should show us what law he is banking on to prosecute Nigerians who are within their rights. The president is not being advised properly by the attorney-general,” he said.



Lawmakers Keep Mum

Aside from the press statement by the minority caucus of the House, most lawmakers in the National Assembly are trying to avoid making public comments on the ban.

Two other lawmakers who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES asked not to be named despite being members of the opposition party, PDP. While they both condemned the action of the government, they were not willing to make their stance public.

“When the house crumbles, everything goes with it. Our country is crumbling so anything goes. No civility, No dignity. We have a president and a presidency. We don’t know who is in charge. It’s the beginning of totalitarianism in Nigeria and a ploy to take away our right to speak freely.

“The minority caucus has issued a statement condemning the ban. And we’ll take it farther. But understand that this president has a penchant for disobeying the parliament.

“It is a fact that some legislators are still slave to political parties and give allegiance to party instead of the Constitution and the nation,” one opposition lawmaker said.

Another PDP lawmaker from the South-west said the government has no justification for the ban.

“I am totally against this Twitter ban by President Buhari. There is no valid reason to do it. It encroaches on the right to free speech and casts Nigeria in a very bad light,” he said.

None of the lawmakers spoken to expressed commitment to openly join Mr Gbillah in any protest.

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/465925-twitterban-nigerian-lawmaker-threatens-to-ground-plenary-if-gbajabiamila-others-prevent-debate.html

58 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by yamunla(m): 1:54pm On Jun 06
Na Buhari house-boy dey head that house o..

this lawmaker should be careful

98 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by AGNESikpuNNU(f): 1:54pm On Jun 06
When they were attacking Saraki and alleging so many things against him, you'd think they were sincere. They were only trying to plant "O YES" stooges that will look the other way while they rape the country.
What has changed in the Upper & Lower Chambers.
* Same lump salaries and other crazy sums.
* Same Budget padding.
* Infact it got worse at standing up to executive excesses.

131 Likes 14 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Timi45: 2:19pm On Jun 06
I doubt if Mr rubber stamp will ever allow you to speak

116 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by paddyDIGITAL(m): 2:21pm On Jun 06
What a country!

6 Likes

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by CilicMarin: 2:23pm On Jun 06
Comedian... grin grin

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Amotolongbo(f): 2:28pm On Jun 06
Do we still have the legislative arm of government?

The same arm of government which the executive doesn’t need its consent for any appointment or decision

76 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by babyfaceafrica: 2:30pm On Jun 06
Talk show called the house of assembly

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by IvarDboneless: 2:56pm On Jun 06
We don't have a government, legislative judiciary even executive all we have is a cabal

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by musicwriter(m): 8:55pm On Jun 06
That's good.

But whether banned or unbanned, you can always use Twitter. Follow the link below to learn how to use Twitter without VPN. Please share on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp to your friends.
Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by IMASTEX: 8:55pm On Jun 06
This is what you keep seeing in this Politician's Pension House.

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Romanoff(f): 8:56pm On Jun 06
I don't even take this set of lawmakers seriously. They are almost non-existent.

20 Likes 1 Share

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by sweetkev(m): 8:56pm On Jun 06
Animal kingdom undecided

5 Likes

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by cardoctor(m): 8:57pm On Jun 06
Again?

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Tetrahedron: 8:57pm On Jun 06
Rubber stamp assembly

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by HADINigeria: 8:57pm On Jun 06
Let's wait and see

2 Likes

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by chelsea1116(m): 8:57pm On Jun 06
U see wetin i see?

36 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Nuelito: 8:57pm On Jun 06
Small shaking wey Oga Jack do....the FG dey tremble

My people, make una patronize me abeg oh

2 Likes

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Siwisheswereesh: 8:57pm On Jun 06
Ok
Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Grace001: 8:58pm On Jun 06
You better tread wisely and don’t let them suspend you.

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Shaev7(m): 8:59pm On Jun 06
THE NOOSE
Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by foeedaba: 8:59pm On Jun 06
Lol, rubber stamp senators and house of rep that would never do anything to counter the presidency.

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by ictjobber: 9:01pm On Jun 06
..


Whenever there's a big story im the news look for the story they are trying to distract you from.


...
Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by Anter: 9:01pm On Jun 06
We are watching the learned vs cow lovers.
Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by YouandiAllofus: 9:01pm On Jun 06
It is the responsibility of the legislature to act in checks and balances of the excess of the executive on issues as this is. But how will they talk about issues that matter to the people when it is not of benefit to their already oversized fat pocket. There is so much eye-service politics in the Nigerian system today. Corruption!!!

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by IMASTEX: 9:02pm On Jun 06
chelsea1116:
U see wetin i see?
Na where him sense from leak out.

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by iamyemiakins(m): 9:02pm On Jun 06
Rubberstamp legislooters, this one just dey disguise. At the end of the day they know where they meet to discuss the next cruise to use Nigerians to catch

1 Like

Re: Twitter Ban: Mark Gbillah Threatens To Ground Plenary If House Prevents Debate by maximunimpact(m): 9:02pm On Jun 06
Lols

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