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Nigeria: Twitter

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL1234, tabled on 21 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the reasons for, and (2) the impact of, the decision by the government of Nigeria to ban Twitter.

Answered on

5 July 2021

We are concerned that the Nigerian Government has suspended Twitter in Nigeria. The Minister for Africa has publicly reiterated the importance of all Nigerians being able to enjoy their right to freedom of expression responsibly. Our High Commission in Abuja has issued a statement with other diplomatic missions conveying disappointment over the suspension and affirming our strong support for freedom of expression.

In his statement of 4 June, the Nigerian Information Minister Lai Mohammed argued that the suspension had been imposed because the platform was being persistently used "for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence". On 7 June, our Acting Head of Mission in Abuja, along with senior representatives from other diplomatic missions, met the Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, to discuss the suspension and statement, and to reiterate our position. Our diplomats continue to discuss the suspension with the Nigerian Government and other stakeholders, with a view to encouraging a resolution soon. Freedom of expression and the media are essential elements of a democracy.