SERAP Urges Umahi To Withdraw Call For Arrest Of Social Media Users, Over Unsubstantiated Comments

by on April 23, 2021

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to immediately withdraw his advice to the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Police to interview Nigerians who made “unsubstantiated statements” on social media.

Umahi, who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) made this statement as a guest on Channels TV’s “Sunrise Daily”.

The governor further added that unguarded utterances by politicians on social media were part of the reasons why total calm had not returned to the affected communities in his state.

His words, “The level of crimes in the country is as a result of unpatriotic acts of a lot of us. We, leaders, we come out on television and then we speak, indict other regions, we speak against other regions, we pick on the leader of a country and then castigate the leader of a country. There is no patriotism at all.

“The way to prevent this thing is that if you are making unsubstantiated statements in the social media, the police, the SSS, you should be invited to explain and this is no politics because the country cannot fold our hands and allow people to plunge the country into another war and this is very important.

“I was told that one of the world wars started with a family quarrel and so if you are making a statement on social media calling it freedom of speech, you must come to the law to substantiate it.”

Reacting to this, SERAP in a tweet said, “We urge Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi to immediately withdraw his illegal call on Nigeria’s security agents to ‘invite’ Nigerians simply for peacefully exercising their rights on social media.

“We’ll hold Mr Umahi to account if his call leads to violations of rights.”

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