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UK, Canada express concerns over Buhari’s Twitter suspension

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THE United Kingdom and Canada have expressed concerns over the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had, on Friday, suspended the operations of the social media platform after his post containing civil war threat was deleted.

UK Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria Gill Atkinson expressed concerns over the suspension, saying that Nigerian citizens had the right to freedom of speech and the responsibility not to misuse it.

Atkinson said any action taken by the government should not suppress the basic freedoms of Nigerians, rather should be proportionate and measured.

“All Nigerians have the right to freedom of speech and the responsibility not to misuse that right.  Any action taken by Government must be measured, proportionate and not supress basic freedoms,” Atkinson said.

High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria Nicolas Simard said that responsible use of freedom of speech online and offline was a fundamental human right protected in Nigeria’s constitution and a cornerstone of democratic life around the world.

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He noted that the rights should be protected, and inflammatory statements and hate speech that could fuel tension and conflict should be avoided.

“Freedom of speech used responsibly online and offline, and access to reliable information are fundamental human rights protected by #Nigeria’s constitution and a cornerstone of democratic life around the world.

“These #HumanRights should be fully protected, while preventing inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech that could fuel tension and conflict,” Simard posted.

The ICIR reported that Buhari’s tweet was removed due to its violation of the Twitter rules. Twitter regarded it as containing violence and other inciting contents.

On  June 2, Twitter deleted a post by Buhari where he referred to the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War as the way to treat ‘those misbehaving today,’ saying it was the ‘language they will understand.’

The president said that in reaction to violence in the South-East part of the country.

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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