Coalition unveils #DontPoliceMySpeech: A bold stand against the silencing of Nigerian voices

In response to escalating attacks on journalists and online dissenters in Nigeria, a coalition of Nigerian journalists and civic space defenders has launched the #DontPoliceMySpeech campaign. This initiative is a public demand for an end to the abuse of power and the criminalisation of free speech by Nigerian government authorities.

The campaign particularly highlights the misuse and weaponisation of the Cybercrimes Act, which is being used to silence and prevent journalists, activists, and ordinary citizens from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech and expression.

Since the President Bola Tinubu administration took office in May 2023, at least 25 journalists have been illegally arrested. Regular citizens are also affected, as seen in the case of Ms. Okoli, who was prosecuted for reviewing a tomato paste she purchased. These incidents send a troubling message that no one is safe for expressing their opinions.

Image via Marie Claire Nigeria

The Cybercrimes Act, originally designed to combat online criminal activity, has become a tool for silencing dissent. Despite recent amendments, Section 24 of the Act continues to be misused by Nigerian security agencies in violation of the Nigerian constitution. The campaign has released a public service announcement (PSA) video and posters depicting various ways Nigerian security authorities have violated the rights of journalists and citizens to silence them.

“Stifling the press and public discourse is authoritarian and hinders the rights of citizens to demand accountability,” said Shirley Ewang, Advocacy Lead at Gatefield. “Nigerians are tired of the abuse of their rights under a supposedly democratic government.”

About #DontPoliceMySpeech

#DontPoliceMySpeech is a campaign led by Gatefield and a coalition of over 200 journalists, activists, and civil society organisations defending constitutionally guaranteed rights to speech and press freedom in Nigeria. By raising awareness of the misuse of laws and calling for government accountability, the campaign seeks to ensure justice and safeguard the fundamental rights of all citizens.

Media Enquiries
Shirley Ewang |

Accountability Lab Nigeria | CJID | Dataphyte Foundation | Humangle Media | Tap Initiative | DigiCivic Initiative | Follow Taxes | More Branches | Femme Mag | Paradigm Initiative | Invictus Africa | Marie Claire Nigeria | Document Women | LightRay Media


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