The United States, through the office of the Department of State, on Thursday, June 10, called on the federal government of Nigeria to respect the rights of citizens and lift the suspension on Twitter.
Ned Price, the spokesman of the department, in a statement on Thursday pointed clearly that the freedom of expression among Nigerians in their country is crucial to the nation’s democracy.
Price noted that the restriction of citizens’ access to information has no place in a democratic setting, Channels TV reports.
The spokesman declared: “The United States condemns the ongoing suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government and subsequent threats to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter. “Freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies.”
He, however, added that the administration of President Joe Biden is completely behind Nigeria as it seeks to make progress towards unity and peace. Price said as a strong ally of the West African giant, the US is calling on the Nigerian government to reverse the suspension of the platform’s operation in the nation.
Earlier, the US Mission in Nigeria had called on the government to immediately reverse its suspension on Twitter. This position was contained in a message posted by the mission on Facebook on Wednesday, June 9.
According to the message, Nigeria has over 40 million Twitter users and home to the largest technology hub in Africa. As such, banning Twitter is at the detriment of the citizens. The mission alleged that the suspension amounts to a state-sanctioned denial of free speech.
The statement read: “There are nearly 40 M Twitter users in #Nigeria, and the country is home to Africa’s largest tech hub. This suspension is nothing more than state-sanctioned denial of free speech and should be reversed immediately.”