FG Summons US, UK, Canada, EU Envoys over Comments on Twitter Ban

FG Summons US, UK, Canada, EU Envoys over Comments on Twitter Ban
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[6/7, 3:33 PM] Oguji Simon: 2' 

FG Summons US, UK, Canada, EU Envoys over Comments on Twitter Ban

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editorJune 7, 2021 11:30 Am

By Michael Olugbode


The Federal Government has summoned the ambassadors of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria over their comments on the suspension of microblogging site, Twitter, in Nigeria.



This was disclosed in an invite to journalists by Kimiebi Ebienfa of the Crisis Monitoring and Public Communications Division of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday.


The invite read: “I am directed to inform that following the recent ban on Twitter by the Federal Government and Press Statement issued by some Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited to Nigeria on the subject matter, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency, Geoffrey Onyeama has invited the affected Ambassadors to a meeting today at 12 noon.



“The venue is Minister’s Conference Room, 8th Floor.


“You are here invited to cover the Meeting. Thanks for your usual cooperation.”


The Federal Government had Friday suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service site in Nigeria, citing the persistent use of the Twitter platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.


Twitter ban was announced by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, two days after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet posted wherein he threatened to deal with secessionists “in the language they understand”.


The social media  networking site had said the tweet violated the Twitter Rules.


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The ban has attracted widespread condemnations as Nigerians described it as violation of rights of citizens and a prelude to dictatorship.


More than 39 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, according to NOI polls, a public opinion and research organization based in Nigeria.


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Nigerian telecoms operators complied with the government directive on the ban Friday but Nigerians are navigating around the ban using VPN


The U.S. and the European Union had on Saturday expressed concern over Nigeria’s decision to ban Twitter.


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“Banning systems of expression is not the answer,” the diplomatic missions of the EU, U.S., Britain, Canada and Ireland had said in a joint statement Saturday condemning the ban.


“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,” the statement added.

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[6/7, 3:33 PM] Oguji Simon: FG Summons US, UK, Canada, EU Envoys over Comments on Twitter Ban