EU, UK, US, Canada Condemn Nigeria Twitter Ban

World superpowers have condemned the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government over the indefinite suspension of the operations of microblogging site Twitter in Nigeria.

Recall that the Federal Government on Friday suspended, indefinitely, the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement signed by his media aide Segun Adeyemi.

The minister cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

He also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria, it added.

Reacting in a joint statement, Canada, the European Union, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America said banning systems of expression is not the way forward.

The statement was titled, ‘Joint Statement From The Diplomatic Missions Of Canada, The European Union (Delegation To Nigeria), The Republic Of Ireland, The United Kingdom And The United States Of America’.

It read, “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 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.”