U.S., Canada, EU, U.K., Ireland condemn Nigeria’s Twitter ban

Uba Group

BY AUGUSTINE AVWODE , LAGOS                                    

The U.S, the European Union, U.K, Canada and Ireland on Saturday condemned Nigeria’s decision to suspend the operations of micro blogging company, Twitter, in the country.

Couched in the finest of diplomatic language, the countries in a joint statement expressed “disappointment” over the development.

“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,” the diplomatic missions’ statement said.

It added: “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 full statement reads:

“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”, it said.

Nigeria on Friday suspended the operations of Twitter, accusing the platform of undermining the nation’s national security.