Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State said restricting social media has no place in a democracy.
In a statement signed by Ned Price, his spokesperson, Blinken said the United States is concerned that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio stations to stop using Twitter.
The statement reads, “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 US also the ban sends a poor message to citizens, businesses, and investors in Nigeria, adding that the path to a more secure Nigeria lay in more, not less communication, alongside concerted efforts towards unity, peace, and prosperity.