Twitter: Nigeria summons US, UK envoys, others over backlash

Geoffrey Onyeama Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Federal Government has summoned the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Republic of Ireland and the European Union over their comments on the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

Minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama is to meet the diplomats at noon on Monday, an invitation to the press signed by Kimiebi Ebienfa read.

“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 hereby invited to cover the meeting. Thanks for your usual cooperation,” the invite read.

The aforementioned diplomatic missions had in a joint statement on Saturday expressed disappointment over the suspension.

“We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline,” they had said.

“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”