The Embassy of Sweden in Abuja has reacted to the Twitter ban by the Nigerian government. The reaction came on Friday night through the embassy’s Twitter account.
“Nigerians have a constitutional right to exercise their freedom of expression and a right of information. This must be respected. Safeguarding free, independent media and civic spaces for democratic voices is an important part of Sweden’s drive for democracy,” the Swedish Embassy stated.
The Twitter ban was announced on Friday afternoon through the official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Olumide Akpata, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), equally reacted to the ban by noting that Nigeria operates in a constitutional democracy and therefore everything must be done according to law.
Akpata stated that part of the implication of the ban was on the right of Nigerians to “freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions through that medium”.
He also noted that the licensing of all OTT and social media operations by the Nigerian Communications Commission was another attempt to stifle freedom of speech and shrink civic space.
“The Nigerian Bar Association finds no constitutional or legal authority to support the peremptory action of the Federal Government to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria,” Akpata said.
“Beyond the dent on our constitutional democracy, at a time when the Nigerian economy is unarguably struggling the impact of arbitrary decisions such as this on investor confidence is better imagined.”
He added that if the ban is not reversed, the NBA will challenge it in court in the interest of the public and democracy in the country.
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