Telecommunications companies in Nigeria including MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9Mobile, have started blocking access to the microblogging site, Twitter, according to Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria.
According to a statement on Saturday morning jointly signed by ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and executive secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga, the association said its action was based on a directive by the telecommunications industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Franktalknow reports that the Federal Government on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in the country following deletions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets against trouble makers and arsonists on Thursday, which the microblogging service said violated its rules.
The statement titled ‘Order to Suspend Access to Twitter’, said: “We, The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) wish to confirm that our members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry to suspend access to Twitter.
“ALTON has conducted a robust assessment of the request in accordance with internationally accepted principles.
“Based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the licence terms under which the industry operates; our members have acted in compliance with the directives of the Nigerian Communications Commisison (NCC) the industry regulator.”
The operators, however, added that they 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,” they stated.