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Twitter ban: FG summons US, others

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FEDERAL Government has summoned the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria over their recent comments on the suspension of microblogging site Twitter in the West African Country.

  This was contained in an invitation to pressmen issued on Monday morning by Kimiebi Ebienfa of the Crisis Monitoring and Public Communications Division of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  “I am directed to inform that following the recent ban on Twitter by the federal government and press statement issued by some Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited to Nigeria on the subject matter, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency, Geoffrey Onyeama has invited the affected Ambassadors to a meeting today at 12 noon.

  “The venue is Minister’s Conference Room, 8th Floor. You are hereby invited to cover the meeting. Thanks for your usual cooperation,” the invitation reads.

  It will be recalled that in a joint statement on Saturday, Canada, EU, UK, US, and the Republic of Ireland said banning systems of expression is not the way forward.

  Consequently, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension of Twitter, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Though mobile operators have blocked their customers in the country from using Twitter, many Nigerians have switched to the use of virtual private networks to bypass the blockage.

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