The late Uganda dictator General Idi Amin was once quoted to have said, “There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech”.
Since the death of Idi Amin, a lot of African countries have displayed the quote by their actions even if they never mention it and such countries have received constant knocks for this.
Recently, Nigeria is becoming a country where freedom after speech is not guaranteed. The decision of the Department of States Services (DSS) to detain one Chisom Anaele for a comment he made on social media is a war against his freedom of speech as guaranteed to him by the Nigeria Constitution. However, the DSS has shown that they have no respect for the Constitution.
The war against free speech is not a new development in Nigeria but an old plague that has refused to abate. When we have military leaders at the helm of affairs one of their trademarks was hatred for free speech and they moved heavily against anyone that express his or her view on national
During the military era, it was one of the trademarks of those in authority to hound anyone who spoke against the government.
The death of Dele Giwa via a bomb parcel on October 19, 1986, remains top on the list. Before his assassination, Giwa was a critique of the military government of the time and he paid dearly for it with his life.
The advent of social media in the new Millennium has increased the hatred of free speech by the powers that be in Nigeria. A lot of journalists and non-journalists have been arrested in recent times for comments made on social media even after the comment is retrieved – Audu Maikori’s case with the Kaduna State government is a clear example.
In Osun state, some staff of the Osun state Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) were sacked for ‘insulting’ the Governor in a Whatsapp Group! WhatsApp group chat o!
The continuous detention of Chisom Anaele for his alleged comments on the social media without charging him to court is an assault on his fundamental human right.
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