More reactions trailed the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria following the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged inciting tweets against insurrectionists in the South East, with the United States, the media and other Nigerians joining to condemn federal government’s action.
Reacting to the development, the United States government yesterday faulted the ban on the American microblogging social media platform, saying it violates the fundamental right of freedom of expression of Nigerians as provided in the country’s constitution.
A statement issued yesterday by the Public Affairs division of the United States Embassy in Abuja, the US said the ban on Twitter operations is also a disincentive to investors.
It stated: “Nigeria’s constitution provides for freedom of expression. The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses.
“Banning social media and curbing every citizen’s ability to seek, receive, and impart information undermines fundamental freedoms. As President Biden has stated, our need for individual expression, open public conversation, and accountability has never been greater.
“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less communication, alongside concerted efforts toward unity, peace, and prosperity. #KeepitOn”.
Also, six diplomatic missions in Nigeria expressed outrage over the ‘indefinite suspension’ of the microblogging social media platform.
In a joint statement issued yesterday the diplomatic missions of the United States (US), European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria, United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Republic of Ireland and Norway, described the ban as a measure to inhibit access to information.
The statement made available to newsmen by the British High Commission to Nigeria noted, “The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America convey our disappointment over the Government of Nigeria’s announcement suspending #Twitter and proposing registration requirements for other social media.
“We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline. Banning systems of expression is not the answer.
“These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication to accompany the concerted efforts of Nigeria’s citizens in fulsome dialogue toward unity, peace and prosperity. As Nigeria’s partners, we stand ready to assist in achieving these goals.”