" ITREALMS: 27 CSOs: We’ll keep tweeting - ITREALMS

Monday, June 14, 2021

27 CSOs: We’ll keep tweeting - ITREALMS

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A coalition of some 27 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria have condemned the recent ban on Twitter in the country, just as they declared, “We’ll keep tweeting” reports 
The coalition in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS said they are leaders of CSOs working on governance, corruption, elections, digital rights and inclusion, women’s rights and journalism in Nigeria.
They said “We strongly support statements released by various civil society organisations and other stakeholders, condemning the suspension of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in Nigeria, as this represents a continued assault on the civic space and anti-democratic clampdown on free speech.”

Also, they were aware of the statement credited to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, threatening to arrest anyone who continues to tweet after the announced suspension.

“We, therefore, wish to categorically say that we, as individuals, and our organisations, do not know any law that the act of sharing information breaks, and will continue to use Twitter, other social media platforms, and other media channels, to share information and engage with citizens.

“We note that Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) makes it impossible to convict any person for a criminal offence if that offence is not defined and its penalty not prescribed in a written law.

“On the power of Section 36(12) which protects a fundamental human right, we therefore note and state unequivocally that the Attorney General’s statement threatening to prosecute citizens using Twitter contravenes the Constitution and is a violation of human rights and an utter abuse of power.

The coalition said they stand with Nigerians who continued to exercise their fundamental human rights, especially as the country celebrated Democracy Day on Saturday, June 12.

Those who endorsed this statement included ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative (PIN), ‘Yemi Adamolekun, Executive Director, Enough Is Enough (EiE Nigeria), Adebayo Raphael, Centre for Liberty, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Cheta Nwanze (@chxta), Chioma Agwuegbo, TechHerNG, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Concerned Nigerians.

Others were Cynthia Mbamalu, Director of Programs, Yiaga Africa, Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI), Dorothy Njemanze, Executive Director, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation (DNF), Edetean Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, Hamzat Lawal, Connected Development [CODE] / Follow The Money, Joshua Olufemi, Founder, Dataphyte, Idayat Hassan, Executive Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Kolawole Oluwadare, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD), Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA), Nana Nwachukwu Nelson Olanipekun, Citizen Gavel, and Olabukunola Williams, Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine.

As well, Oluwatosin Alagbe, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, Raising New Voices Initiative, Seun Onigbinde, Director, BudgIT, Tunde Aremu, Udy Akpan, Executive Director, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), and Y.Z Y’au, Executive Director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

They stressed their position by quoting Wole Soyinka in one of his literatures, that “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.”

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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