June 4, 2021
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In the wake of the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government (FG) on Friday, members of the diplomatic community in the country have issued statements in support of freedom of speech.

The British Deputy High Commissioner in Abuja, Gill Atkinson, a few hours after the announcement by the FG tweeted: “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 suppress basic freedoms.”

Her tweet was retweeted by @ukinNigeria, the Twitter handle of the British High Commission in Nigeria.

In a similar reaction, the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria, via their Twitter handle, @SwedeninNigeria wrote: “Nigerians have a constitutional right to exercise their freedom of expression and a right to access of information. This must be respected. Safeguarding free, independent media and civic spaces for democratic voices is an important part of Sweden’s #DriveForDemocracy #TwitterBan”

Nicolas Simard, High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, tweeted: “Freedom of speech, used responsibly online and off line, and access to reliable information are fundamental human rights protected by #Nigeria’s constitution and a cornerstone of democratic life around the world. (1/2) #TwitterBan

“These #HumanRights should be fully protected, while preventing inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech that could fuel tension and conflict. (2/2) #TwitterBan #Nigeria”

Here’s his tweet:

Recall that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the ban on Twitter in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.

It comes barely a day after the microblogging site deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial post referencing the Nigerian civil war.

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