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Social media restriction, threat to prosecute users undermines Nigerians’ rights – US

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The United States says social media restrictions in Nigeria and the threat to prosecute users weakens the rights of the people.
 
The U.S. Consulate hosted “Conversation on Press Freedom, Freedom of Expression and Civic Space in Nigeria” on Wednesday in Lagos.
 
 
Consul General Claire Pierangelo, in her remarks, said the event was organized because the U.S. believes that media freedom and freedom of expression are vital to a thriving democratic system.
 
The Biden-Harris administration is committed to putting human rights at the heart of America’s foreign policy, Pierangelo stressed.
 
 
Noting that a free press is a core pillar to a democracy, the diplomat said the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees free expression and prohibits congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak at will.
 
Pierangelo said since 2019, she had spoken with thousands of Nigerians about democracy, elections, and the country’s history.
 
 
The CG expressed concern about the seeming muzzling of journalists as well as the proposed legislation which could have significant consequences for free press.
 
“Nigerian government’s ongoing suspension of Twitter and stated intent to introduce registration requirements for other social media platforms is deeply worrisome.
 
“Banning or significantly restricting social media, including under threat of prosecution, undermines Nigerians’ human rights and fundamental freedoms”, she declared.
 
America is encouraged by the meetings between Twitter and government technical committee aimed at resolving the suspension, the Consul General added.
 
Pierangelo charged reporters, editors, media executives, and the civil society to remain vigilant to protect the right to freedom of expression and press freedom.
 
On June 4, the Nigerian government ordered internet service providers to suspend access to Twitter.
 
The directive followed the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet for violation of rules.
 
The federal government vowed to prosecute citizens and broadcast stations who continue to tweet. The threat was later withdrawn due to outrage.
 
On June 22, the Buhari administration mentioned End SARS as one of the reasons for Twitter ban.
 
The government accused the social media platform of funding an uprising against the state.

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I Cannot Do Anything To Release Nnamdi Kanu, He Should Go Ahead And Defend Himself In The Court – Buhari Finally Breaks Silence

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The President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari has categorically made it clear that he can not release the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is currently in DSS custody.

Remember that the Eastern leader and some traditional ruler had previous gone to Aso Villa Abuja in respect to seek for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

In response, The president earlier assured them that he will consider their request but didn’t state if he will be released or not.

Going forward, in a recent publication by Punch Newspaper, the Commander in chief of Nigeria armed forces, Buhari has openly come out to stated vividly that he cannot do anything to free IPOB leader, urging that he should go ahead and defend himself in the court of law.

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Stop celebrating just because Army killed bandit leader, wait until they crush all of them which I know Nigerian soldiers Cannot – renowned Islamic Leader, Gumi Says

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As the nation celebrated onslaught by the Nigerian military in decimating bandits who continued to make life unbearable to many citizens, especially the recent bombing by Nigerian Airforce jets in Zamfara where two bandit leaders were reportedly killed,the camp of renowned Islamic Sheikh, Dr.Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has called on the military to further convince the public by showing evidence.

A member of the Gumi camp and traditional title holder of ‘Dan Iyan Fika in Yobe State, Alhaji Tukur Mamu, told journalists in an interview, that “the simple question is that we should ask ourselves…for example these reports that they are saying that they’ve bombarded this camp and that camp,is there any evidence on the ground?”

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Declare ‘Golden Dawn’ Operation In Niger, Kaduna States Under Bandits, Terrorists — IPOB Tells Nigerian Army

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has condemned the Nigerian Army for launching Operation Golden Dawn in the South-East region of the country.

The group alleged that the operation was another scheme of the military men to embark on a killing spree of residents of the region, similar to what was done with Python Dance in which many lives were lost in 2017.

According to IPOB, it is disgraceful that the military operatives leave Northern Nigeria that is being ravaged with terrorism and banditry, only to concentrate on the South-East and other southern regions.

In a statement by Emma Powerful and obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday, IPOB berated political leaders in the region for not speaking against the operation.

The statement partly read, “This operation is another round of secret genocide akin to the infamous Python Dance by the Nigerian Army. This is another ploy by the military to continue their reckless killing of Igbo youths just because we want to have our independence.

“We wonder why a special military operation would be launched in the South-East why the same military has looked away from Kaduna, Niger and other northern states which have become a slaughter ground by Fulani bandits and terrorists decimating Christian communities almost unchallenged.

“The level of insecurity in South-East which of course was created by the same Nigeria security agencies is a far cry to the state of near-anarchy in the northern region. Why is it during special military operations that the Fulani controlled federal government remembers South East but when it has to do with infrastructure and appointments they go North?

“Our message to the operatives deployed for this wicked special operation is to make sure they don’t kill any innocent Biafran or IPOB member. If they know where the bandits were created to wreak havoc in the South-East, let them face them. But any day they touch innocent Biafrans in South-East, they will regret their action.

“They should be ashamed of themselves that even soldiers are being killed by Fulani bandits in the North but they are here declaring a special operation in a relatively peaceful region.

“We pity South-East politicians and the political elite who lack understanding of the times. They are only after their political interest in 2023.”

Recall that the Nigerian Army on Sunday announced special military exercises in the South-East, South-West and South-South regions of the country, codenamed ‘Golden Dawn’, ‘Enduring Peace’, and ‘Still Water.’

The army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Sunday, said Faruk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, will perform the flag-off in Enugu State.

He had said the exercises, which were routine, were to stem the tide of criminality as the yuletide approached.

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