Restricting social media use has no place in democracy, US government tells Buhari

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By Henry Okonkwo

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has told the Nigerian Government that restricting the use of social media has no place in a democracy.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday signed by Blinken’s spokesperson, Ned Price.

The statement read, “The United States condemns the ongoing suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian Government and subsequent threats to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter.

“The United States is likewise concerned that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio broadcasters to cease using Twitter.

“Unduly restricting the ability of Nigerians to report, gather, and disseminate opinions and information has no place in a democracy.

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“Freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies.

“We support Nigeria as it works towards unity, peace, and prosperity. As its partner, we call on the government to respect its citizens’ right to freedom of expression by reversing this suspension.”

The Federal Government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria, accusing the social media platform of being used for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The government has been under steady condemnation from local and international community as well as civil society organisations that the right of expression of Nigerians be respected.

The President Muhammadu Buhari government has, however, been unyielding in its stance that the social media space must be regulated.

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