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Twitter ban: FG summons US, UK envoys, others over comments

The EU, UK, US, Canada and the Republic of Ireland had described the suspension of Twitter by Nigeria as anti-democratic.

The Nigerian Government has summoned the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria over their recent comments on the suspension of microblogging site, Twitter in the African country.

“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 invite published by the Punch read.


The EU, UK, US, Canada and the Republic of Ireland had described the suspension of Twitter by Nigeria as anti-democratic.


Their statement was titled, ‘Joint Statement From The Diplomatic Missions Of Canada, The European Union (Delegation To Nigeria), The Republic Of Ireland, The United Kingdom And The United States Of America’.


It read, “The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America convey our disappointment over the Government of Nigeria’s announcement suspending #Twitter and proposing registration requirements for other social media.


“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.”


Twitter had deleted a comment by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he made reference to the Nigerian Civil War, which many found distasteful.


The Federal Government last Friday banned Twitter, citing "persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

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