Transparency and Integrity


Misplaced Priorities: Amnesty International Condemns Buhari's Administration


Amnesty Nigeria Chief Calls Out Buhari's Administration. 

.... Says Buhari Is Focused On Stifling Criticism, Rather Than Addressing Core Issues.

Amnesty International says President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime prefers stifling criticisms and freedom of expression to addressing Nigeria’s deteriorating insecurity.

Speaking during a virtual conversation of ‘Thursday Talks,’ a monthly programme moderated by a senior programme manager at Paradigm Initiative Adeboye Adegoke, Amnesty Nigeria chief Osai Ojigho condemned the regime’s posture.

“What we are seeing is a government that is highly sensitive to criticism and, as such, seeks to work more on the public relation side of things — how it looks — rather than addressing the core issues,” she said.

Speaking further, Ms Ojigho noted, “This is why it’s quite worrying when you look at the insecurity situation in Nigeria that we are today, because people have been speaking up, and nothing has happened. People have complained about attacks on their villages and communities, but no one has been prosecuted.”

According to her, the government has made several attempts to restrict how the rights body and other groups launch activities demanding immediate attention of the federal government on security and other issues.

“At Amnesty International and several groups, we’ve constantly called the Nigerian authorities’ attention to these issues — not just nationally, but on the global arena.

“That is why there is now a much more deliberate attempt to restrict how we do this work and to threaten independent organisations from carrying out their own monitoring and observation work because the government feels threatened by it,” she stated.

Speaking on the recent suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria and the directive issued by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) stopping broadcast media from patronising the platform, Ms Ojigho described it as a deliberate attack on press freedom.


“It is not for the regulatory body to tell the press what they should say and how they should say,” she noted. “I know most people will come out and say, ‘oh, but some people say things that are not true or say things that harm people’s reputation, should they go scot-free?’ The law has already provided means through which redress can be made when those violations occur.”

Meanwhile, ECOWAS court in Abuja has Buhari-led government from arresting Nigerians using Twitter, pending the hearing and determination of a suit by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

Attorney General Abubakar Malami had sought to enforce the ban by threatening to arrest and prosecute anyone who tweets in Nigeria.


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