The United States of America, European Union (EU), Britain, Canada and Ireland have condemned the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian Government.
The indefinite suspension of the social media platform in the country begun on Saturday after it deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reacting in a joint statement, the diplomatic missions of the EU, US, Britain, Canada, and Ireland, said: “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.”
Last Wednesday, the microblogging site deleted a tweet by the President which Nigerians had criticised as a declaration of war.
In the deleted tweet, Buhari had made a reference to the country’s 30-month civil war in 1967-1970, warning “those who wanted the government to fail” to desist from fomenting trouble.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” the president had tweeted on Tuesday night.
Later on Saturday, the Nigerian President had expressed disappointment regarding the recent removal of his post by Twitter, saying that the company’s censorship policy failed to understand the acute issues the country has to deal with.