The United States condemned the Nigerian government for suspending Twitter and asked it to reverse the decision.

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source: usnews.com

The United States condemned the Nigerian government for suspending Twitter and asked it to reverse the decision.

Ned Price, the US Secretary of State spokesman, described it as worrying that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio stations to stop using this social network.

The United States condemned the Nigerian government on Thursday for suspending Twitter and attacking people who use the social network, including Nigerian journalists, and called on the African nation to reverse its decision.

"Unduly restricting the ability of Nigerians to report, collect and disseminate opinions and information has no place in a democracy. Freedom of expression and access to information, both online and offline, are essential for democratic societies to be prosperous and safe," said Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, in a statement.

Price noted that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission had ordered all television and radio stations to stop using Twitter, calling it problematic.

Nigeria indefinitely suspended Twitter last week after the social media giant deleted a message from President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to violently punish regional secessionists.

Telecommunications companies then blocked access to the platform, and on Wednesday, the Nigerian government said social media companies must obtain a license to operate in the country.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) has said it would work to restore access. The company, together with human rights groups such as Amnesty International, declared itself "deeply concerned by this blockade" and described "free access to an open internet" as an "essential human right."

The European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, and Canada also regretted the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. "The prohibition of the means of expression is not the solution," affirmed the diplomatic representations of the EU and these countries in a statement on Saturday night.

More than 39 million of the 200 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, according to a poll.

Nigeria is the largest democracy in Africa, but the government is frequently accused of violations of freedoms by human rights organizations.

In November 2019, the government took drastic measures to regularize the media and fight against misinformation on social media. These measures were perceived by civil society as a restriction on freedom of expression.