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Coalition condemns use of digital tech against civil society groups

By Innocent Anoruo
09 December 2021   |   2:27 am
Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCS) has condemned the misuse of digital technologies and security narratives on civil liberties, urging concerted effort to halt the trend.

Urges govt to define terrorism, hate speech

Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCS) has condemned the misuse of digital technologies and security narratives on civil liberties, urging concerted effort to halt the trend.

The coalition of civil society groups made this known in Lagos, yesterday, during the launch of its latest research reports, ‘The Security Playbook of Digital Authoritarianism in Nigeria’ and ‘Harms from Abroad: The Impact of Global Security Measures on the Civic Space on Nigeria’.

Reading a statement on behalf of the coalition, Oluseyi Olufemi of Interactive Initiative for Social Impact (DATAPHYTE) urged the Federal Government to clearly define for the citizens what terrorism and hate speech entail.

According him, only an arm of government determines who a criminal or terrorist is, as there are gaps in the constitution that encourage the development.

Charging the civil society to keep advocating transparency, the group said: “There should be culture of checks and balances, whether in business or politics.”

For the Executive Director of Spaces for Change (S4C), Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, terrorism has no definition in Nigeria, as even agitation for self-determination, which has become a global phenomenon, is tagged terrorism in the country.

She noted that without checks and balances, abuse of power is inevitable. Okey Nwanguma of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) asserted that the scanty definition of terrorism in Nigeria is deliberate, in order to attack basic freedoms and eventually kill democracy.

Assessing the reports, Achike Chude, an activist, said it is a fight-back against oppressive government policies and a workbook for the citizens.

Commenting on part of the report that touched on the media, Olufemi, who also consults for Premium Times, charged the media to always develop evidence-based reports and scrutinise ‘official’ figures dished out to them by dubious government official or agencies.