THE diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States have jointly expressed disappointment over the Nigerian government’s suspension of Twitter and for proposing registration requirements for other social media platforms.
The diplomatic missions, in a statement jointly released on Saturday, said banning the systems of expression was not in any way the answer.
“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.”
Buhari had, on Friday, announced the suspension of Twitter, saying the platform was persistently used for activities that could undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria.
But the diplomatic missions noted that the move was coming at a critical time when Nigeria needed to accommodate more communication to address a host of challenges facing it as a nation.
“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,” they said.
The diplomatic missions, however, pledged to continually support Nigeria in achieving unity, peace and prosperity.
“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.”