Britain, Sweden reacts to FG Twitter ban, says Nigerians have right to freedom of speech


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Following the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, the governments of Sweden and Britain have condemned the move saying, government must respect rights to freedom of speech.

Gill Atkinson, British deputy high commission while commenting says all actions taken by the government must be measured while also admonishing citizens not to misuse their rights.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had announced the “indefinite” suspension in a statement issued on Friday by Segun Adeyemi, his spokesman.

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

“The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria,” Adeyemi added.

According to Atkinson, “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 tweeted.

Twitter’s suspension by the federal government comes days after a post by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 1967 civil war was deleted by the microblogging platform.

In a series of posts on Twitter on Tuesday, the president had condemned the attacks on government facilities in the country.

Citing a reference to the civil war experience, Buhari had threatened to treat those “bent on destroying” Nigeria “through insurrection” in “a language they understand”. Similarly, The Swedish government also condemned the action of the government, saying the rights of the citizens must be protected. In a tweet , the Swedish government through her handle said “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”

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