The US consul-general at the “Conversation on Press Freedom, Freedom of Expression and Civic Space in Nigeria” which was held in Lagos, described the ban of Twitter in the most populous black nation, as a violation of human rights.
The Federal Government had cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as the reason for the suspension.
US consul-general, Claire Pierangelo, described the ban as “worrisome” saying;
“Nigerian government’s ongoing suspension of Twitter and stated intent to introduce registration requirements for other social media platforms is deeply worrisome.
“Banning or significantly restricting social media, including under threat of prosecution, undermines Nigerians’ human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
“In view of these recent developments, you — reporters, editors, media executives, and civil society representatives — must remain vigilant to protect the right to freedom of expression and press freedom,” she said.
”To fulfill its highest civic purpose, the press must be both independent and unbiased. Without independence, a media outlet functions as a public relations mouthpiece for the government and other powerful interests.
“In the same breath, history is full of cautionary tales showing that when governments try to limit citizens’ right to talk about certain topics, important conversations are pushed into the shadows allowing individuals to express their opinions — no matter how much the government and other citizens may disagree with them. Rigorous debate promotes transparency and social stability”