At least 34 students of the Benue State University, Makurdi have been invited to appear before a disciplinary committee of the school for posting ‘offensive’ messages on social media.
According to a memo signed by one Abichille Adakole and obtained by SaharaReporters, the students were accused of “alleged misconduct, indiscipline behaviour disruptive expression on social media aimed at inciting violent protest and other conducts portraying the university in negative perspective.”
They were expected to appear before the committee on June 22.
One of the invited students described the Vice- Chancellor of the university, Professor Tor Joseph Iorapuu as a dictator.
He described the action as a violation of the students’ rights to freedom of expression.
“Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, recognises the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media.
“Section 39 of the Nigerian constitution, as amended in 1999, embraces the freedom of speech.
“Then why is Tor Joseph Iorapuu stopping us from using the social media to express our views? The state governor should caution him. The same governor criticised President Muhammadu Buhari recently for banning Twitter but here is his appointee doing the same thing to students,” the student told SaharaReporters.
The move by the Benue State University management comes a few weeks after the Nigerian government suspended the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who announced the suspension in a statement cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Mohammed said the government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
Twitter had on Wednesday, June 2, deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, in which he threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand.”