A coalition of about 70 civil society organisations has called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to reverse the ban placed on the operations of Twitter in the country and withdraw the threat to prosecute anyone using its services in Nigeria.
The CSOs made the call in a jointly-signed statement issued on Monday by the condemning the action of the Federal Government, while also describing it as ‘unlawful.’
The signatory groups include Amnesty International Nigeria; CISLAC (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre); Global Rights; Nigeria Mourns; Business and Human Rights Roundtable; Tap Initiative for citizens development; Civil Society Consortium on Civic Space; Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD); Alliances for Africa and WILPF Nigeria.
Others are Echoes of Women in Africa Initiatives; Akubeze Okocha; B.E.E Initiative; Access to Justice; Sterling Centre for Law & Development; Concerned Nigerians; JENNON-PIUS &Co initiative; Education as a Vaccine; Invictus Africa; Dinidari Foundation; Raising New Voices Initiative; Centre for Impact Advocacy (CIA); Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER); BudgIT; The Interactive Initiative for Social Impact; Enough is Enough (EiE); Yiaga Africa; among others.
The statement reads: “We, the undersigned civil society organizations are concerned about the repression and escalating crackdown on human rights by the Nigerian government, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom.
“We strongly condemn the arbitrary and unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, by the authorities, and the resulting restrictions on the human rights of people, as well as the threat to prosecute anyone using Twitter in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, call on the Nigerian authorities to immediately rescind the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and withdraw the threat to prosecute anyone using Twitter in the country,” the statement read in part.
The groups also condemn the “directive” issued by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for all broadcast stations to deactivate their Twitter accounts, asking government to “immediately withdraw the directive to broadcast stations to deactivate their Twitter accounts.”