Peter Nkanga, a journalist, human rights activist and member of the AfricTivistes Steering Committee, has received death threats in Nigeria since the release of his documentary film exposing journalist and activist Ahmed Isah. According to Mr Isah, Peter Nkanga is guilty of participating in the making of the BBC News Africa film "Nigeria's Ordinary President", which warns of the actions of Mr Isah who, through his media "Brekete Human Rights Radio and TV", is responsible for many human rights abuses. He presents himself as a saviour and a champion of justice in his country, sometimes even standing in for the defence and security forces.

 

Very popular and considered as a demi-god in Nigeria, Mr Isah has become untouchable. Furious with Peter, Isah accused the latter during his live programme watched daily by thousands of people around the world, that the BBC team and Peter want to tarnish his reputation and kill him. He also mentioned Peter's family during the show.

 

Enough reasons for his supporters to make threats including death threats against Peter after his telephone numbers were broadcast on the radio. Brekete's supporters and sympathisers around the world have been calling our colleague, threatening him and his family. 

 

In any case, these mob-justice acts and threats against Peter Nkanga are a breach of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and that freedom of information and freedom of the press are the foundation of all other rights.

 

These same freedoms are also guaranteed by the ECOWAS Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which considers them as constitutional principles common to all member states. As for the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, it is clear on the obligation of ECOWAS Member States to ensure a safe working environment for journalists. The Community Court considers that there is a violation of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights when attacks against journalists are not investigated to find the perpetrators and punish them.

 

AfricTivistes strongly condemns the threats against Peter Nkanga, who was only doing his job as a journalist. AfricTivistes finds it inconceivable that an ordinary citizen would abuse his popularity to put the life of another in danger.

 

AfricTivistes urges the NIgerian authorities to protect Peter Nkanga and his family in the name of freedom of expression and the press.

 

AfricTivistes will hold Mr Isah responsible for whatever happens to our colleague. We urge the Nigerian authorities to ensure the protection of Mr Nkanga and his family.