US demands immediate reversal of Twitter ban

The United States has again called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the ban on Twitter.

After the microblogging site yanked off a tweet of Buhari on the civil war last week, the Federal Government suspended the operations of Twitter in the country, citing alleged interference.

In a statement issued a few days after the ban, the US had condemned the action which it described as unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, Samantha Power, the current administrator of the US Agency for International Development, described the ban as a denial of free speech.

“There are nearly 40 million Twitter users in #Nigeria, and the country is home to Africa’s largest tech hub. This suspension is nothing more than state-sanctioned denial of free speech and should be reversed immediately. #KeepItOn,” she had tweeted.

At a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions in Abuja on Monday, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said there is no timeline for the ban.

He, however, said the ban would be lifted when there is responsible use of social media.

Many Nigerians have circumvented the ban through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) but Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation, has threatened the prosecution of those still tweeting.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has ordered all stations to go off Twitter.

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