More reactions yesterday 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.
Nigeria’s minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who announced the suspension of Twitter operations on Friday had cited “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence” as reasons for the temporary ban of the social media platform.
He further disclosed that the federal government also directed the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, “to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria”.
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”. (Leadership)