Home » Respect citizens’ Digital Rights during election – CITAD to stakeholders, security agencies

Respect citizens’ Digital Rights during election – CITAD to stakeholders, security agencies

by Mustapha Salisu
0 comment 3 minutes read

By Mustapha Salisu

As the March 18th Governorship/State House of Assembly Elections polls gather force, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on all stakeholders, especially security agencies and those who have citizens’ data in their custody, on the importance of protecting and safeguarding the rights of Nigerians, both online and offline and ensure that their data is safe and not misused or tampered with.

CITAD’s Digital Rights Officer, Ali Sabo, made the call during a press briefing with Journalists on Thursday at CITAD’s Conference Hall, Kano.

Ali explained that, The United Nations (UN) has recognized the right to the Internet as the fourth generation right. Therefore, the right to the Internet as a means to access these offline rights has at its core the issues of Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

“Any breach of the above is a negation to Nigerian commitment to Human Rights as well as other international covenants on human rights, including the African Charter and Peoples and Human Rights,” he said

Recall in the month of February PRIME TIME NEWS reported a similar press conference where the Centre drew the attention of the Nigerian Police Force against the arbitrary arrest of citizens on the order of some overzealous politicians who misused their offices to trample on the fundamental human rights of the citizens.

The Digital Rights Officer stressed that, the call for this month’s Conference is crucial referencing to what happened in the presidential and national assembly elections, noting that as indicated in the previous conference government agencies have purchased surveillance systems to track and monitor people, most especially activists, journalists, opponents and those they consider a threat to their interests.

“As Civil Society actors we consider this as dangerous and a threat to not only the fundamental human rights of the citizens but to our democracy as this exposes citizens to privacy abuse,” Ali kicked.

Sabo reiterates the need for respecting the privacy of individuals and ensuring that their data is being kept in a safer place and not allow a third person to have access to it.

The Digital Rights officer, however, called on stakeholders to as a matter of public interest and upholding electoral integrity in the country.

Ali gave the Centre’s suggestion as thus, “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the people’s mandate and not allow anybody to tamper with it”

“INEC to ensure that all the election electronic materials such BVAS are in good condition in order to avoid what happened in the presidential and national assembly election”

“INEC to ensure the early delivery of election materials to polling units across the country”

“INEC should ensure all election results are being uploaded to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) as stipulated in the 2022 Electoral Act”

“The Nigeria Police Force to desist from being used by politicians to intimidate voters, journalists and election observers during the election” Ali revealed

Others are, The National Information Technology Development Agency, Nigeria Communications Commission, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to not allow themselves to be used or transmit citizens’ data to a third person for any reason unless this request is by a competent court”

“Also, we are calling on the security agency to ensure the protection of election infrastructure as well as telecommunication infrastructure in order to have smooth transmission of election results without any compromise in the country” the Digital rights officer disclosed.

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