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CSOs condemn suspension of school teacher who criticized Buhari

 

PARADIGM Initiative and Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria have condemned the suspension of Baba Mohammed Wanigi, a school teacher with the Agaie Local Government in Niger State, over his social media posts allegedly criticizing government officials and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Wanigi was last month handed an indefinite suspension for criticizing President Buhari .

The suspension letter dated 25th May, 2018, was signed by the permanent secretary of the Local Government Education Board Authority, Danlami Abubakar.

But in a statement issued on Monday, the two civil society organisations said the suspension was not only reprehensible, but also patently unconstitutional.

Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative Director of Programs, said the most basic right for citizens in a democracy is the freedom of expression which is guaranteed by the constitution.

She argued that the Local Government Education Authority does not have the authority to overrule the constitution or limit constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Speaking in the same vein, Adeboro Odunlami, a digital rights advocate with Paradigm Initiative, said it was wrong for the government to take disciplinary action against a person for no reason other than the expression of his opinion about the state of affairs and conduct of the administration.

In his own submission, Adeolu Adekola, Program Manager of EiE Nigeria said, the group is worried about politicians using excuse and guise of hate speech to repress citizens and the opposition especially as the nation moves towards 2019.

The two CSOs called on the the Local Government to retract the suspension letter and decision and reinstate unconditionally Baba Mohammed Wanigi back into service.

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They are also demanding for an apology to be made to him for the gross infringement of his fundamental right to freedom of expression.

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