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Twitter Ban:FG Infringes On The Right Of Millions -CITAD

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Malam YZ Yau

 

The center f or information technology and development CITAD says the twitter ban by the federal government is an ill-advised and unacceptable action by the federal government.

The executive director of the centre Malam Y Z Ya’u made the statement during a press conference held in Kano.

 

According to Malam Y Z Yau the Federal Government, through its Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed announced the suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria. This suspension followed the action of Twitter in deleting a tweet by President Mohammed Buhari which the platform concluded had violated its community standards.

He pointed out that CITADexpresses shock with such an ill-advised action by the Government.

The Head further said they are surprised that the president could allowed himself to be wrongly advised. The quality of advice that he received shows an extremely level of ignorance of the working of Over the top (OTTs) in the world.

“First, Twitter does not need to be in Nigeria for its business to strive. By suspending its operation in the country the government is not hurting the interests of Twitter but rather jeopardising the jobs of the Nigerian staff of Twitter and more fundamentally, derogating the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression which is guaranteed in both our constitution and in the Africa Peoples and Human Rights which Nigeria is a signatory to, among other covenants of human rights.

Twitter Ban: FG Orders Prosecution of Offenders

The platforms of OTTs are important component of the internet, access to which the UN has decided as constituting a fourth generation of rights that all citizens should enjoy.

By shutting down access to Twitter for the millions of Nigerians, the government has totally curtailed the rights of Nigerians to this service.

Second, it shows the lack of understanding of the state of technology in the world. Many countries have unsuccessfully tried to block social media access for their citizens, but the increasing number of by-pass technologies means that such an action is fruitless and rather a drain on useful resource that could be used to support educating citizens on how to use the internet.

Third, when government argues that Twitter was selective in punishing misuse of its platform, it betrays a lack of understanding of the issues at hand. Twitter like, any other OTTs, has its community standards. Violating any of these standards elicits punishment which ranges from deletion to suspension and to even outright ban on the platform. One of the standards is that no message that is threatening violence against other people should be allowed on the platform. ”

YZ Yau said the Presidents message was a threat to violence. It does not matter that he was responding to a violent situation. That other people had in the past made similar messages and were not so punished is not an argument for two wrongs do not make a right.

The statement further said the ban illustrates the fourth nativity of the government. When the Government or the President noticed that some people were spreading messages inciting or inviting violence, what they ought to do was to flag this off with Twitter. Once a message is flagged the relevant OTT (in this case Twitter) is duty bound to respond to it by taking action. When it is dissatisfied with the action taken, it can appeal the case and in the case of Facebook, it has a global Independent Board of Oversight which deals with controversial appeals and whose decisions or rulings are binding on the OTT.”

The other aspect of the naivety of the government response is that it does not understand the nature of hate speech for which it has over a long period been pushing for a legislation. One of the key attributes of hate speech for it to catalyse into violence is that it should have a powerful speaker. That powerful speaker can earn his or her status on the basis of statutory power (such as a President) or love such as celebrity or cultural assets such respected community leaders or even religious capital in the case of religious leaders. What a powerful speaker does is that he makes the audience to commit the call to action embedded in his or her message. They could act the call to action either because they fear the speaker or love her or him or has institution of violence that could do his or her bidding. In the Nigerian context, clearly President Buhari is a powerful speaker who earned his status because of the office he occupies but also, additionally, because he has political and probably, ethnic followers. His message has a clear call to action which is to incite violence against his target. It is clear that his message, given his position as President has the potential to catalyse violence. It is entirely different from a riffraff ranting on twitter.

However, all these are by the way, the substantive issue for us is that we see in the act of the president a vicious intolerance of dissenting views. What Twitter had done was a mild criticism of the President but the president responded with an over kill. Clearly if President Buhari where the President of USA when twitter banned President Trump, he probably could have ordered the army to take over the company and dragged its management and owners to prison.

This intolerance of dissenting views is dangerous to democracy and unacceptable. It also is unnecessary and uncalled for given the situation that Nigeria is in, a situation that requires building bridges through effective communication rather than one of responding in kind.

We also fear that this act is preamble to the long ambition of the government to control access to the social media in the country.

Over the last six years, it has tried to do this through legislation unsuccessfully and now it wants use the response by Twitter to start a piece meal effort.

This is acceptable, undemocratic and unconstitutional.
We call on the government to withdraw its suspension and allow Twitter to carry out its legitimate business unhindered.

The government should allow Nigerians unhindered access to the platform. What the Government ought to do is to begin to educate and enlighten citizens on how to use the social media and not how to prevent them from using it.

We join millions of other well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians in demanding an immediate restoration of access to Twitter and a proactive safeguard against similar action to other OTTs.

We call on the National Assembly to declare the act of the president as illegal and unconstitutional and proceed to provide a legal clarify by enacting a law that prohibits presidents or any other authority from blocking any internet platform.

As an organization dedicated to the use of information technology to promote development and good governance, we are prepared to help in the campaign for better use of the internet but even more, we are ready to help Nigerians reclaim their right to access to twitter, among other OTT platforms by building their capacity on by bypass technologies.”

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Breaking:Emir of Dutse Nuhu Muhammad Sunusi Passes On

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Late Emir Of Dutse Nuhu Muhammad Sunusi

 

The Emir of Dutse  in Jigawa state North West Nigeria Alhaji Nuhu Muhammadu Sunusi is Dead.

In his verified Facebook handle a traditional title holder Santurakin Dutse  and PDP Gubernatorial Candidate of Jigawa state Mustafa Sule Lamido made the statement.

 

Another credible source from the Capital of Jigawa state told NIGERIAN TRACKER that Emir Nuhu Sunusi died today in Abuja but did not disclose the place where he died.

NIGERIAN TRACKER recalls that Alhaji Nuhu Muhammadu Sunusi was appointed Emir of Dutse by the military administration of Late Colonel Ibrahim Aliyu in 1995 after the passing away of his father Muhammadu Sunusi.

 

He reigned as the Emir for 28 years

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Naira Controversy: Emefiele Appears Before Reps. Committee

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday appeared before the ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on the cashless policy and deadline for the replacement of old currency notes.

Emefiele, who was supposed to appear before the Committee last week, failed to do stating he was out of the country with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The House threatenedto invoke the provisions of section 89(1)(d) of the Constitution by issuing a warrant of arrest today to compel him to appear.

The CBN Governor, who appeared with some of his assistants, went into a brief Executive session with members of the committee.

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Cashless system helps in tracking election financing — Osinbajo

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By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says a cashless policy, when effectively operated in Nigeria, can help stem the surge of illicit election financing by making it possible to track funds.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president received a delegation of the EU Election Observation Mission led by Mr Barry Andrews.

The EU Chief Observer is also a member of the European Parliament.

“I think that what we should be looking at is to provide more infrastructures.

“ The cashless thing has been really advantageous and helps with tracking.

“That sort of infrastructure is useful for more financial inclusion and the more financial inclusion you have, the easier it is to track.

“So much money can be spent without it being tracked under the current election financing practices in the country.’’

Osinbajo acknowledged the serious difficulty in controlling election financing because of cash transactions.

According to him, there are still infrastructure issues required to be in place to ensure an efficient cashless system in the country.

“With cash transactions, it is still difficult to seriously control election financing.’’

On electoral offences, the vice president said the Electoral Offences Commission Bill was at the National Assembly.

He said he hoped that it would begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offences which would be helpful.

“By and large, one shouldn’t expect INEC to be the investigator of electoral offences.

“I think that law enforcement agencies should be responsible for arresting and prosecuting offenders, state by state.

“Electoral offences are always seen through a political prism; people will always feel that they are being prosecuted because they belong to a certain party.

“What is more important is that we have to find a system where the police could have a special unit for offences during the course of elections.

“The Federal High Courts could also have a special jurisdiction to deal with offences and not extend beyond the Federal High Courts.”

On the role of the judicial system, Osinbajo said that more attention should be paid to the monitoring of tribunals and their outcomes, calling for more scrutiny from the National Judicial Council.

He disclosed that discussions had been had in the past concerning malfeasance on the part of some judges and those found guilty should be brought to the fore.

“There should be sanctions and that way, we would be able to clean up and correct some of the problems,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Andrews said that the mission would be monitoring the elections coming up next month and hope for a peaceful and fair electoral process.

According to him, it is the 7th time the INEC is inviting the EU Mission to monitor the elections, adding that the team had been in the country since Jan 11 and will be around until the end of March, 2023.

Other members of the delegation include Ms Samuela Isopi, Ambassador, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS and Mr Thomas Boserup, Deputy Chief Observer, EU Election Observation Mission. (NAN)

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