Ishaku charges state governors to protect citizens’ rights
• CDD accuses FG of muzzling freedom of expression
• CDHR says attack on media threat to democracy
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has charged state governments to lead the fight against human rights violation in the country as they bear the sole responsibility of protecting the citizens. He gave the charge during a human rights conference at the United States Consulate in Lagos State.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Respect for Human Rights; a Panacea for National Peace and Development and the Roles of State Governments in Nigeria,’ he urged state governments to take drastic steps to curb ills such as kidnapping, robbery, communal clash, herdsmen attack, among others.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, noted that when individual’s rights are protected, countries become stronger, more stable and prosperous; hence America would not toy with people’s rights.In another vein, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of using the legislature to silence Nigerians and cage dissenting voices in the country.
The body claimed to have carefully followed the debate on the Protection from Internet Falsehoods, Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill 2019 (SB 132), popularly known as the Social Media Bill. CDD stated, “This provocative legislation, which has passed second reading in the Senate, is an attempt to use the legislative process to muzzle freedom of expression.
“The bill purports to tackle the increasing problem of false information in Nigeria. However, a number of draconian provisions in the bill empower the Nigerian government to unilaterally shut down social media and possibly the internet for posts they deem to pose risks for public safety and national security. This would pose a serious threat to Nigeria’s democracy and freedom of speech.”
Meanwhile, the chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos State, Alex Omotehinse, has described the recent attack on the media as a threat to democracy.Speaking at the World Human Rights Day event in Lagos, he noted that the recent clampdown of media practitioners with fictitious, frivolous and obnoxious charges “is a serious threat to our hard-earned democracy, rule of law, civility amid corporate existence that must be urgently resisted.