Amid Nigeria’s indefinite suspension of Twitter, foreign diplomats in the country have voiced the position of their respective countries concerning the development.
THE WHISTLER reported that before giving the directive, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday, said the “persistent use of the platform” by citizens was “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
In his reaction, Canada’s High Commissioner in Nigeria, Nicolas Simard, while silent on condemning FG’s actions against Twitter, stated that the federal government must be wary of suppressing free speech and that stakeholders must also be mindful of their rhetoric.
“Freedom of speech, used responsibly online and offline, and access to reliable information are fundamental human rights protected by Nigeria’s constitution and a cornerstone of democratic life around the world.
“These Human Rights should be fully protected, while preventing inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech that could fuel tension and conflict, “ he tweeted.
On its part, the Government of Sweden urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to respect critical views.
It held that the proof of democracy is when the powers that be avoid gagging the media or social media tools.
“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 drive for democracy,” it tweeted.
The British Deputy High Commissioner in Abuja, Gill Atkinson, affirmed that Nigerians have the right to freedom of speech, but added that they also have the “responsibility not to misuse that right”.
“Any action taken by Government must be measured, proportionate and not suppress basic freedoms,” Atkinson tweeted.