Again US pressures Nigeria to unban Twitter operation In the country

The government of the United States has again called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse its indefinite suspension of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in Nigeria.

This will be the second time the United States government will be calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to revert its decision to ban Twitter operations in Nigeria.

Top official of the US Mission in Nigeria, Samantha Power, made the call on Wednesday.

Power who is the present Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said: “There are nearly 40 M Twitter users in #Nigeria, and the country is home to Africa’s largest tech hub.

This suspension is nothing more than state-sanctioned denial of free speech and should be reversed immediately. #KeepitOn.”

Power served as the 28th US Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017.

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of the Twitter operation in Nigeria after the medium deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet where the President made significant reference to the civil war.

The President had said many of those Nigerians “misbehaving” were young during the civil war and would be treated in “the language they understand.”

Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”, Buhari who was a former military head of state said.

 After the deletion, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, condemned “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The government directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to start the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations.

NBC was also ordered to force broadcast stations – Television and Radio – to stop using Twitter or face the consequences.

The actions are being criticized by Nigerians, countries, local and international organizations.

On Tuesday, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and concerned citizens filed a lawsuit against the Buhari administration over “the unlawful suspension of Twitter”.

 The plaintiffs, in the suit filed by a legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN), want an end to the criminalization of Nigerians using the microblogging site, the repression of human rights, freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom.


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