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Free Expression and Access to Information Pillars of Democracy, Insist Diplomatic Missions in Nigeria

Some diplomatic missions in the country have condemned the Nigerian government’s ban of Twitter, insisting that free expression and access to information are the pillars of democracy. A statement jointly

Some diplomatic missions in the country have condemned the Nigerian government’s ban of Twitter, insisting that free expression and access to information are the pillars of democracy.

A statement jointly issued on Saturday by the diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America has conveyed the disappointment over Nigeria’s government announcement suspending #Twitter and proposing registration requirements for other social media.

The statement said: “We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline.

“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at 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 diplomatic missions added: “The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication to accompany the concerted efforts of Nigeria’s citizens in fulsome dialogue toward unity, peace and prosperity. As Nigeria’s partners, we stand ready to assist in achieving these goals.”

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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