As part of its core objectives as a stakeholder and practitioner in the ICT sector in Nigeria, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is at the centre of advocacy efforts to ensure that not only do technologies and innovations improve the lives of every Nigerian citizen but that they are also done while conforming to fundamental rights of every Nigerian. Among these rights are Freedom to Expression online, Right to Opinion, Transparency in Surveillance and most importantly, at the heart of this call, Right to Privacy. Not only are these rights protected, by extension by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) they are currently amplified in the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill (HB. 490) which seeks to exhaustively engage issues of positive rights like these.
“Statutorily, on the 19th of September, 2016, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria through its ICT Policy engagements has relied on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 to request information from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the true state of fact on the data of private citizens currently on the www.voters.ng platform. This call is being made to ensure that the rights of every Nigerian citizen are adequately protected especially in the age where technologies are capable of being used against individual safety.” said Tomiwa Ilori, Program Assistant (ICT Policy), Paradigm Initiative Nigeria. “It is important to also note, that not only does it smack of distrust and lack of due diligence by a public institution in performing its duties to find data of private citizens handed to them in trust in the hand of a third party without any evidence of consent of these citizens sought, it portends great danger to the digital survival of our social, political and economic environment.”, he concluded.
“We use this medium to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to heed the call and comply with the request made to them in the interest of Nigerian citizens. Also, we call on all stakeholders interested in ensuring that our social capital as a society is preserved to weigh in on this issue, join hands with us and see it to a logical conclusion. “said, ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.