The Muhammadu Buhari government has attracted condemnation from 32 countries over its decision to ban Twitter in Nigeria.
Buhari banned the the social media platform after it deleted a tweet in which the Nigerian leader threatened to unleash military violence on separatists.
The 27 nations in the European Union (EU), the US, Canada, Ireland, Norway and the UK issued, on Saturday, a joint statement condemning the Twitter ban.
They also decried moves by the Nigerian government to ban unlicensed social media and over the top (OTT) platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The statement read:
“The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, Norway, 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.
“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.
“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication to accompany the concerted efforts of Nigeria’s citizens in fulsome dialogue toward unity, peace and prosperity.
“As Nigeria’s partners, we stand ready to assist in achieving these goals.”