Restricting social media is not part of democracy – US govt warns Buhari


The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has told the President Muhammadu Buhari government, that restricting the use of social media has no place in a democracy.

Blinken’s words were contained in a statement on Thursday signed by his spokesman, Ned Price.

He condemned the suspension of micro-blogging site, Twitter, by the Buhari government.

“The United States condemns the ongoing suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government and subsequent threats to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter. The United States is likewise concerned that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio broadcasters to cease using Twitter.

“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.

“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,” the statement read.

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

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Buhari, speaking on Arise TV on Thursday, said they had come to complain that herdsmen were killing farmers while their animals destroyed crops.

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