Twitter Ban: British Envoy Advises FG To Respect Free Speech

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The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, in response to Twitter ban says the federal government must respect the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression.

Atkinson gave this advice after the Nigerian government announced the suspension of the microblogging platform, Twitter on Friday.

In a tweet posted after the announcement, Atkinson said any action taken by the government to manage the right to freedom of speech must be measured.

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“All Nigerians have the right to freedom of speech and the responsibility not to misuse that right. Any action taken by Government must be measured, proportionate and not supress basic freedoms,” she said.

The decision to suspend Twitter was announced by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, through his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi.

According to the statement, the minister cited “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Twitter’s suspension by the federal government comes days after the microblogging platform deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet where he vowed to handle Nigerians who misbehave.

Twitter said the tweet was in violation of its rules.

Citing a reference to the civil war experience, Buhari had threatened to deal with those “bent on destroying” Nigeria “through insurrection” in “a language they understand”.


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