The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has slammed, as political interference, the National Broadcasting Commission’s directive that television and radio stations must delete their Twitter handles.
The broadcast authority says the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria means media houses should not use social media site to gather information, and that they must de-activate their accounts.
SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare said in a statement, NBC’s directive is unlawful because it is based on another unlawful decision by the federal government to suspend twitter in Nigeria.
Members of the international community, including the UK, the US, the European Union, Canada, office of the UN High Commissioner for human rights and others, have publicly expressed concern over Buhari government’s crackdown on media freedom, urging the Nigerian government to protect and respect freedom of expression.
Twitter Bows To Nigerian Govt, Agrees To Open Office In Nigeria
Just as the Nigerian has promised to lift the suspension on Twitter operations in Nigeria, the Federal Government has on Wednesday said that the micro blogging patform has agreed to open its office in Nigeria in 2022.
Disclosing this, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed told State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC explaining that the federal government’s engagement with Twitter has been extremely positive without any acrimony.
Mohammed said “We have made it clear what we want from Twitter. The end for amicable resolution is very much in sight.
According to Daily Post, the minister added ‘We appreciate the patience of Nigerians. I want to assure you that we have made very tremendous progress. We have met with Twitter both physically and in writing. We are actually almost there.
He said Twitter have shown a lot of flexibility and has agreed to open office in the country in 2022.
Reps Oppose FG’s Plan To Allow Firemen Bear Arms
The house of representatives has also opposed the plan to allow fire fighters to carry arms. The lawmakers say the Federal Fire Service is a civil outfit and not a security agency, and does not require arms to carry out its duties.
They say some mob attacks on firefighters are usually caused by frustration on the part of victims when firefighters arrive late and are ill-prepared to avert emergencies.
The house believes instead of creating an arms squad of the Federal Fire Service, adequate resources should be channeled into improving the service delivery of the federal fire service, including the provision of fire hydrants in every local government area and updating the global positioning system service of the federal fire service to locate emergency scenes swiftly.
The members say they are worried that equipping the Federal Fire Service with arms would add to the growing concerns about the reckless use of arms by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.
Lawmakers Suspend Media Regulation Debate Amid Uproar
Nigerian lawmakers have suspended deliberations on new laws to regulate the media. The sponsor of the controversial Nigeria Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) amendment bills, Segun Odebunmi, who is also the chairman of the house committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values, said the reprieve would avail the lawmakers time for proper consultations over the bill , and so, on Tuesday the house has agreed to suspend the bills.
The bills have been resisted by Nigerians, including a media solidarity on Monday calling for the bills to be thrown out. Media groups called it draconian and what they call an extension of the existing censorship on broadcast stations, but the lawmakers said it was aimed at oiling the machineries of the press for optimum performance.
Ran with the caption ‘information blackout,’ on the front page of many national dailies of Monday and Tuesday as well as television chyron and lead graphics on online media.
“it’s not just against the media,” the advertorial read. “it is about society’s right to know, your right to be heard.”
The groups saw the bills as an extension of the existing censorship on broadcast stations, which are often ordered to stop airing programmes the government feels displeased with and slammed with heavy fines at will when there is an alleged breach.
On one hand, the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) empowers the president to appoint the chairman of the board of the council as well as other members of the board upon the recommendation of the information minister.
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