Telecommunications services providers in Nigeria said they have blocked access to Twitter in the country after receiving order from the Federal Government to do so.
The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) in a press statement on Saturday, said the formal instruction was issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecoms regulator.
ALTON has conducted a robust assessment of the request in accordance with internationally accepted principles, according to the statement co-signed by Gbenga Adebayo, its chairman and Gbolahan Awonuga, executive secretary.
Based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the licence terms under which the industry operates; ALTON said its members have acted in compliance with the directives of the NCC.
The statement reads: “We will continue to engage all the relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC.
“We remain committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens.
“As an industry, we endorse the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online. This includes respecting and protecting the rights of all people to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications.”
The event followed earlier announcement of indefinite suspension of operations of the microblogging site in Nigeria after it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet on civil war.
Twitter took the action saying that the tweet violated its terms of usage as it was capable of inciting civil war.
However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was quick to react with the suspension, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The Minister said the Federal Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.