President Muhammadu Buhari must within 48 hours rescind the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, or face legal action, the
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said.
SERAP, which condemned the suspension order by the government as “illegal and unconstitutional”, said the action was infringement on the constitutional rights of Nigerians.
On Friday, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Layi Mohammed, announced indefinite suspension of the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
Special Assistant on Media to the Media, Segun Adeyemi, signed the statement on behalf of his boss.
But SERAP in a statement by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria was *a blatant violation of Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information.
“The suspension has the character of collective punishment and is contrary to Nigeria’s international obligations. President Buhari must immediately rescind this unconstitutional suspension. We will see in court if the suspension is not rescinded within 48 hours,” Oluwadare said.
The statement, read in part: “Suspending Twitter in Nigeria would deny Nigerians’ access to information, and disrupt the free exchange of ideas and the ability of individuals to connect with one another and associate peacefully on matters of shared concern. It would also seriously undermine the ability of Nigerians to promote transparency and accountability in the country, and to participate in their own government.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to guarantee the constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights of Nigerians including online. Deletion of President Buhari’s tweets should never be used as a pretext to suppress the civic space and undermine Nigerians’ fundamental human rights.”
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