The United States (US) on Saturday, June 5, slammed the Nigerian government’s recent decision to suspend Twitter operations in the country.
1st News had also reported that the Federal Government suspended Twitter operations on Friday after Twitter deleted tweets from the official account of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The tweets, which Twitter said ran afoul of its policies, had referenced the country’s infamous civil war.
By early Saturday, users across the country started to experience difficulties in accessing the service and many resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
“Nigeria’s constitution provides for freedom of expression,” a statement from the US Mission in Nigeria said.
“The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise 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 freedoms.
“As US 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.”
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has directed the immediate prosecution of offenders of the Federal Government’s ban on Twitter in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement by spokesman to the minister, Umar Gwandu, on Saturday, June 5.
“Mr Malami directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, DPPF; at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; to swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government de-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria.
“Mr Malami directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy; National Communication Communication; NCC and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay,” the statement said.