The governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and many others have condemned the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari over the ban it placed on Twitter in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Government, through the Ministry of Information and Culture had on Friday banned Twitter indefinitely in the country.
Earlier on Thursday, Twitter had deleted a twit by President Muhammadu Buhari where he threatened the people of Southeast region, saying they would be dealt with the way treated during the civil war.
While condemning the action of the Nigerian government, the US described it as a poor message to citizens and investors.
The US Mission in Nigeria through a statement on Saturday said the Nigerian constitution provides for freedom of information.
In a statement, the US Mission said, “Nigeria’s Constitution provides for freedom of Information. The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to express 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 freedom.
“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.”
On its part, the Canadian government said the federal government of Nigeria must be wary of suppressing free speech and that stakeholders must also be mindful of their rhetoric.
In a statement, Canada’s High Commissioner in Nigeria, Nicolas Simard, said that- “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 Human Rights should be fully protected, while preventing inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech that could fuel tension and conflict.
Reacting also, the Sweden government urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to respect critical views, adding that the proof of democracy is when the powers that be avoid gagging the media or social media tools.
“Nigerians have a constitutional right to exercise their freedom of expression and a right to access of information. This must be respected. Safeguarding free, independent media and civic spaces for democratic voices is an important part of Sweden’s drive for democracy.”
On its part, the UK government, through its Deputy High Commissioner in Abuja, Gill Atkinson, affirmed that Nigerians have the right to freedom of speech, but added that they also have the “responsibility not to misuse that right”.
“Any action taken by Government must be measured, proportionate and not suppress basic freedoms.”
They all expressed their positions through Twitter.