Respect Digital Rights, Don’t Shut Down Internet Over Polls – PIN Begs FG

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The pan-African social enterprise, Paradigm Initiative (PIN), sorely wants the Federal Government to avoid the temptation of towing the line of some African countries where the governments have shut down the Internet over elections.

The PIN Senior Manager, Strategy, Mr. Adeboye Adegoke made this point at a media parley organised to address digital rights violations in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, explained that for the country to have a seamless electoral process, digital rights of the citizens must be respected.

“This meeting is a pan-African meeting, and we hold it in every African country holding an election.

“But what we know is that across Africa, it is very common for Internet to be shut down, but we are calling on the government not to fall for that temptation.

“So let the platform of communication be left open so that people have access to alternative news and people can trust in the credibility of the elections,” he said.

Speaking in a similar vein, the PIN Executive Director, Mr. Gbenga Sesan, said that there was need to preserve digital rights during the elections, as the Internet had become an indispensable tool for political discourse.

Also speaking, the PIN Programme Assistant, Mr. Sani Suleiman disclosed that the organisation plans to deploy digital toolkits and engage fact checkers, to ensure the dissemination of accurate information before, during and after Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections.

Suleiman explained that the plan was to ensure that information provided in the social media by individuals and politicians were verified and corrected where necessary.

“We have developed AYETA, which is an online toolkit for digital security. It was designed to provide users with tools and resources they need to protect their online privacy and security.

“This is particularly important in the run-up to the coming elections where access to information and the ability to communicate freely online is essential for a transparent election process,” he said.

 

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