I always wondered what the big deal is about developing and developed countries in terms of communication, and social media utilization because the social amenities difference between these countries stands out, here is it glaring at me. On June 4, 2021, the Federal government of Nigeria decided that their priority amidst all that is happening in the Country was to ban Twitter. There have been several social unrests in the country, security issues, kidnapping which is so rampant now, it’s sad to note that this government did not take these issues seriously compared to the Twitter ban because, in my opinion, it does not affect them directly.
Some influential Nigerians tried to kick against this, but the government that was sworn in for the people has decided to threaten people into forcefully accepting this ban. This is a big restriction on human rights in a democratic country.
Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State has joined voices with others to speak up against the wrongdoing of the Buhari administration. He stated that the Nigerian government should respect their citizen’s rights on the issue of Twitter operations suspension in Nigeria. This was done via a statement released by his media aide, Ned Price, yesterday, June 10, 2021.
The statement read:
“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.”
Sadly, the Buhari administration has continuously infringed on its citizens’ freedom of speech. Peaceful demonstration and all forms of human rights that come with democracy. If you recall the Lekki shooting at citizens who spoke up against SARs’ unjust operations in the Nation. These protesters were shot at during a peaceful protest and till today, those responsible for the shooting have not been prosecuted.
What is the aim of this government? To create a better Nigeria with brilliant ideas and freedom of expression by its citizens or to create a mute environment where the leaders can do anything and get away with it due to blocking, banning, or suspending communication channels.