The Consul General charges journalists in Nigeria not to give in to government intimidation.
Attempts to suppress freedom of speech in Nigeria, curtail press freedom; and an ongoing ban of social media platform Twitter in Nigeria, has left the United States really worried and concerned.
Minister of Information Lai has been making moves to curtail press freedom in Nigeria and President Buhari has refused to lift a ban placed on twitter two months after.
The US Consulate in Lagos says the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government is deeply worrisome.
“Nigerian government’s ongoing suspension of Twitter and stated intent to introduce registration requirements for other social media platforms is deeply worrisome,” says US Consul General Claire Pierangelo.
“Banning or significantly restricting social media, including under threat of prosecution, undermines Nigerians’ human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“Reporters, editors, media executives, and civil society representatives — must remain vigilant to protect the right to freedom of expression and press freedom,” she adds.
She also charges “the press to be both independent and unbiased. Without independence, a media outlet functions as a public relations mouthpiece for the government and other powerful interests.
“In the same breath, history is full of cautionary tales showing that when governments try to limit citizens’ right to talk about certain topics, important conversations are pushed into the shadows allowing individuals to express their opinions — no matter how much the government and other citizens may disagree with them. Rigorous debate promotes transparency and social stability.”
The Nigerian economy has lost more than 150 Billion since the Twitter ban.
The ban has been widely condemn as a descent into dictatorship in Nigeria.