Mary Beth Leonard, US Ambassador to Nigeria

How Suspension of Twitter Services will negatively impact investment opportunities for Nigeria ─US

*The United States declares that the Nigerian Government’s actions undermine the citizens’ fundamental freedoms, and would negatively impact the country’s investment opportunities

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Toeing the line of several other individuals, civil society groups, professional associations, and global organisations in condemning the move, the United States (US) has criticised the Nigerian Government over the recent suspension of Twitter services in the country.

The Government in a statement through the officer of the Minister for Information and Culture Friday, June 4 had announced the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria ‘indefinitely’, over what it described as Twitter’s alleged support for activities that “undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Subsequently, telecom service providers (Telcos) acting on the government’s directive also began to bar access to the platform in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

However, in its reaction to the development in the country, the US in a statement noted that the Nigerian Government’s actions undermine citizens’ fundamental freedoms and would negatively impact the country’s investment opportunities.

The statement said: “Nigeria’s constitution provides for freedom of expression. The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses.

“Banning social media and curbing every citizen’s ability to seek, receive, and impart information undermines fundamental freedoms.”

The US noted that “as President Biden has stated, our need for individual expression, open public conversation, and accountability has never been greater.

“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less communication, alongside concerted efforts toward unity, peace, and prosperity.”

ConsumerConnect reports that a group of diplomatic missions in Nigeria Saturday, June 5, in a joint statement said: “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.”

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