The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has asked the federal government of Nigeria to reverse its decision on the ban on Twitter in the country.
Speaking on the ban, the Administrator of USAID, Samantha Power in a tweet on Wednesday condemned the suspension of Twitter by the federal government, stating that it is a denial on the citizen’s freedom of speech, further calling on a reversal of the ban. The tweet read,
“There are nearly 40 M Twitter users in #Nigeria, and the country is home to Africa’s largest hub. This suspension is nothing more than state-sanctioned denial of free speech and should be reversed immediately. #KeepitOn”.
Further speaking on the ban, the diplomatic missions of the EU, United States, Britain, Canada and Ireland on Saturday issued a joint statement condemning the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
The statement read,
“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. 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”, the statement added.
Recall that the federal government through the Ministry of Information and Culture, indefinitely suspended Twitter in the country two days after a controversial tweet by the President was deleted for violating the micro-blogging platform’s rule. Following the suspension, the government has received lots of backlash from both Nigerians and international authorities.
Amnesty International has also condemned the indefinite suspension of Twitter in the country. They made this known in a tweet that read,
“Amnesty International condemns the Nigerian government’s suspension of Twitter in #Nigeria – a social media widely used by Nigerians to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and access to information. #TwitterBan.
We call on the #Nigerian authorities to immediately reverse the unlawful suspension and other plans to gag the media, repress the civic space, and undermine Nigerians’ human rights.
This action is clearly inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s international obligations including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights #TwitterBan #Nigeria”.