Monday, June 21, 2021

FG Invites US, UK Envoys Over Comments On Twitter Ban

The Federal Government of Nigeria has summoned the envoys of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union in Nigeria for their recent statements on Twitter’s suspension in the West African country.

 

This was said in a press invitation given by Kimiebi Ebienfa of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Monitoring and Public Communications Division on Monday morning.

According to the statement, the meeting is scheduled to take place by 12pm at the Minister’s Conference Room, 8th Floor.

“I am directed to inform that following the recent ban on Twitter by the Federal Government and Press Statement issued by some Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited to Nigeria on the subject matter, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency, Geoffrey Onyeama has invited the affected Ambassadors to a meeting today at 12 noon.

“The venue is Minister’s Conference Room, 8th Floor.

“You are hereby invited to cover the meeting. Thanks for your usual cooperation,” the invite read.

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It has been previously reported that Canada, the EU, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Republic of Ireland issued a united statement on Saturday saying that prohibiting expression systems is not the way ahead.

‘Joint Statement From The Diplomatic Missions Of Canada, The European Union (Delegation To Nigeria), The Republic Of Ireland, The United Kingdom, And The United States Of America’ was the title of the statement.

It read, “The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America convey our disappointment over the Government of Nigeria’s announcement suspending #Twitter and proposing registration requirements for other social media.

“We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline.

“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication to accompany the concerted efforts of Nigeria’s citizens in fulsome dialogue toward unity, peace and prosperity.

“As Nigeria’s partners, we stand ready to assist in achieving these goals.”

The Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, had a controversial civil war post removed from Twitter (retd.).

As a result, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, ordered Twitter’s suspension, claiming the “consistent exploitation of the site for actions that threaten Nigeria’s corporate survival.”

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