Richard Ginika Izuora
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Rt Hon Patricia Scotland has said that the Commonwealth is closely monitoring events in Nigeria after the federal government banned Twitter.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which revealed this on Sunday, August 1, through its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, stated that: “The Nigerian government has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not committed to protecting human rights. The Commonwealth should take a clear stand to ensure accountability of institutions, freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom in Nigeria.”
SERAP; had in an appeal urged Ms. Scotland to “apply the Commonwealth Charter to hold the Nigerian government to account over the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria; and the resulting repression of freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom.”
Scotland in response to SERAP’s appeal on behalf of the Commonwealth dated 22 July 2021, said, “The Commonwealth Secretary-General has been following the developments in Nigeria very closely; and she is engaging the relevant stakeholders.”
“Please be assured that the Secretariat will remain engaged with the authorities in Nigeria; and encourage a speedy resolution of this matter.”
“All Commonwealth member countries [including Nigeria] have committed themselves; to uphold freedom of expression as one of the core values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter; which underscores a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and other relevant human rights covenants and international instruments.”
Scotland, also noted that the body is “closely monitoring developments around the suspension of Twitter, and allegations of repression of the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, media freedom, as well as disregard for the rule of law in Nigeria.
“All Commonwealth member countries, including Nigeria, have obligations; and commitments to uphold freedom of expression as one of the core values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter. This underscores a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and other relevant human rights covenants and international instruments.”