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PDP reps walk out as Gbaja rules against request to demand Twitter ban reversal

House of Reps
House of Reps

Some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the house of representatives on Tuesday staged a walkout following the rejection of a request to ask the federal government to overturn the ban on Twitter.

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, had earlier mandated the relevant house committees to investigate the suspension of the microblogging site and report back within 10 days.

Subsequently, Kingsley Chinda from Rivers state raised a point of order, demanding that the house should ask the federal government to lift the suspension pending the investigation.

Chinda said the 10 days duration implies that the social media platform will remain shut, denying access to Nigerians.

Gbajabiamila ruled him out of order, saying when a matter had been concluded and ruled upon, it cannot revisited.

“It will be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific matter which the House has concluded upon… unless there is a substantive motion,” he said.

“The matter has been sent to relevant committees of the House to investigate, and they will report to us in 10 days.

“Even though you have got a motion here, we would have referred it to the same committee, the motion would have been killed. You have not complied with order 9 rule 6, you are rued out of order.”

Undeterred, Chinda insisted on his demand, leading to a rowdy session. He subsequently led other PDP members out of the session.

Speaking with journalists after the walkout, Chinda, who is the leader of the PDP caucus, said the speaker’s ruling on the matter should have been debated to reflect the opinion of the lawmakers.

“Let me commend the decision of the leadership of the house to mandate relevant committees to investigate the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

“We just want to add that the federal government should lift the ban pending the outcome of the investigation.”