Access to Twitter has been blocked by telecom operators in Nigeria after receiving a formal instruction from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
A check by TechEconomy revealed that many Nigerians who attempted accessing Twitter on Saturday morning were denied, while others who gained access used a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Recall that the microblogging and social networking service had deleted a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday after a genocidal tweet.
It was on this premise that the NCC on Friday evening instructed the network operators to restrict Nigerians from accessing Twitter.
According to a statement by the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an umbrella body of all licensed telecom operators in Nigeria, telcos will abide by the instruction based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.
“We wish to confirm that our members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator to suspend access to Twitter.
Based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the license terms under which the industry operates; our members have acted in compliance with the directives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the industry regulator,” it said.
ALTON however noted that while it remained committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens, it will continue to engage all the relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC.
“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,”
ALTON added in the statement jointly signed by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Gbolahan Awonuga; Chairman and Executive Secretary.