Human RightsNews

#TwitterBan: We Need To Meet And Clarify Certain Things, Nigerian Minister Tells Foreign Envoys

The envoys had said the country will be more secure through information sharing, adding that banning systems of expression is not progressive.

Geoffery Onyema, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Monday. June 7, 2021 told foreign envoys invited to his office over the ban on Twitter by the Nigerian government that they were not summoned, rather, they were invited for clarification.

“Out of respect and in view of the relationship that we have with your countries, I felt it was absolutely right and appropriate to take your comments very seriously and to meet with you for us to, in our usual friendly way, discuss and share opinions with respect to that and clarify certain things,” Onyeama was reported by the Cable to have said.

“It is for that reason that we have invited you here – not summoned, invited – to discuss some of these issues,” the Minister added.

Earlier, the Minister had sent out a message to the envoys of the US, UK, Canada, and European Union over their comments on the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

According to The Punch, this was contained in an invitation issued on Monday morning by Kimiebi Ebienfa of the Crisis Monitoring and Public Communications Division of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The document said “the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency, Geoffrey Onyeama has invited the affected Ambassadors to a meeting today at 12 noon.”

In a joint statement released on Saturday, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Norway, the European Union, and the US expressed disappointment over the government’s announcement saying that the move undermines the exercise of fundamental human rights.

They maintained  that  the suspension of Twitter would hinder access to information and hamper businesses.

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, had on Friday, June 3, announced the suspension of Twitter citing the persistent use of the platform for “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Mohammed said the site was being used to divide citizens.

The suspension came after Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial tweet was taken down by the social media platform for breaching its rules.

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