The United States of America has faulted the Federal Government for suspending the microblogging site Twitter in the country.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday evening by the spokesperson of the Department of State Ned Price.
The US urged the Nigerian government to respect the rights of its citizens and allow them to express themselves freely. It noted that by reversing its suspension of Twitter’s operation, this would be achieved.
The US noted that freedom of expression and access to information is essential for any democratic setting.
“Unduly restricting the ability of Nigerians to report, gather, and disseminate opinions and information has no place in a democracy. Freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies,” read a statement posted on the Department of State’s website.
“We support Nigeria as it works towards unity, peace, and prosperity. As its partner, we call on the government to respect its citizens’ right to freedom of expression by reversing this suspension.”
Upon the ban of Twitter in the country, Nigerians had alternatively used the Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to access the site.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami had swiftly ordered the prosecution of people using the social media platform in the country.
The US government has however faulted the move including the order by the National Broadcasting Commission’s order to broadcast houses in Nigeria.
“The United States condemns the ongoing suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government and subsequent threats to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter,” it said.
“The United States is likewise concerned that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio broadcasters to cease using Twitter.”