US, Canada, Ireland, EU, UK, Dissatisfied With Nigeria Twitter ban, says decision violates fundamental freedom

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
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US Embassy Nigeria

The United States Mission in Nigeria has reacted to the Nigerian government's decision to ban Twitter.

Nigeria's communications minister, Lai Mohammed, announced the ban in a statement on Friday, citing the platform's continued usage for actions that threaten Nigeria's business survival as a basis for the suspension.

The US Mission, on the other hand, claimed in a statement issued on its Twitter account on Saturday that the decision is in violation of the country's constitution.

”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,” the statement said.

In a joint press release, the diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America expressed their dissatisfaction with Nigeria Government's decision to suspend #Twitter, and propose registration requirements for other social media platforms.

FULL STATEMENT

The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America convey our disappointment over 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.