Pressure Mounts On FG To Rescind Twitter Ban

Condemnation continued to trail the suspension of Twitter by the federal government, yesterday, with media and civil society leaders leading the calls for the Nigerian government to rescind the decision.

The Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed had on Friday announced an indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country on Friday.

In separate statements, the United States government, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (IPAN), the International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria chapter, dozens of civil society organizations and a cyber security were unanimous in voicing their concerns over the government’s action.

Meanwhile, the federal government has said the suspension of the  microblogging site was not in response to the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s post but due to a litany of problems with Twitter’s operation in Nigeria.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, said Twitter had escaped accountability while misinformation and fake news spread through it, with real world violent consequences.

In a joint statement last night, diplomatic missions of Canada, European Union, Republic of Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom and United States expressed “disappointment” over the suspension of Twitter and the government’s decision to regulate other social media channels.

“These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the point when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” the foreign missions stated.

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