By Nompumelelo Sibanda
THE United States has condemned the ongoing suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government saying freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies.
In a statement issued Thursday by the US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price, the US said the subsequent threats by Nigeria to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter was not expected in a democracy.
“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,” said the US Government.
It added: cWe 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.”
However, Nigeria yesterday said Twitter would have to register as a Nigerian entity first before any talks of lifting the ban can be entertained. – Zimbabwe Voice ■