The Commonwealth has said it is monitoring developments in Nigeria regarding concerns of citizens over twitter ban. The organisation made its position known in a response to an urgent appeal by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability (SERAP).
In the appeal issued by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group while accusing the Nigerian government of abusing human rights and freedom of expression, urged the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, to apply the relevant charter in holding the government to account for the “unlawful suspension of twitter in Nigeria and the resulting repression of freedom of expression and access to information and media freedom.”
SERAP stated: “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.”
Responding to the petition, Scotland said all member-nations, 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,” she stated.
A letter signed on her behalf by Roger Koranteng, Officer in Charge, Governance and Peace Directorate said, stated: “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.”