The center for information technology and development (CITAD), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure the protection and confidentiality of the people’s mandate, and not allow anybody to temper with it.
The Digital Rights Officer, CITAD, Malam Ali Sabo made the call while briefing newsmen in Kano.
According to him, INEC and other agencies such as NITDA, NCC, NDPB, NIMC, NHRC, federal Ministry of communications and digital economy, and all security agencies in the country should work assiduously in ensuring the protection of citizens data, privacy and respect of their rights online during and after the 2023 general elections.
The digital rights officer noted that, the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms has clearly spelled out that, the freedom and privacy of individual online is of upmost importance, and must be protected.
Ali Sabo highlighted that, the right to Internet as means to access these offline rights has at its core the issues of Privacy and Personal Data Protection, saying that, any breach 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.
“The UN has recognized the right to Internet as fourth generation rights”
He noted that, during the presidential and national assembly elections held on 25th of February 2023, sad incidences happened in some parts of the country, where reported cases of intimidation, harassment and malfunctioning of elections materials such as Biomodal Accreditation System (BVAS) were recorded.
The digital rights officer, stressed that, as an organization working on the area of upholding electoral integrity, human rights and digital rights in Nigeria, CITAD was committed to enlightening all relevant stakeholders, especially security agencies, and those who have citizens’ data in their custody,
“on the importance of protecting and safeguarding the rights of the Nigerian citizens”
He charged INEC, to ensure that all electronic materials such BVAS are in good condition, timely delivery of election materials, as well as uploading election result, to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) as stipulated in the 2022 Electoral Act.
Ali Sabo urged security agencies, to desist from being used by politicians to intimidate voters, journalists and election observers during election, and provide the necessary protection of election and telecommunication infrastructure.