FG orders telcos to suspend Twitter

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry group, said it had received directives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.

The President of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Saturday.

The action is connected with Friday’s indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations by the federal government, two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired general.

The government had announced the suspension barely 48 hours after the microblogging site deleted a controversial post by Mr Buhari referencing the country’s civil war, and threatening to treat those attacking government buildings “with the language they understand.” Mr Buhari fought during the civil war that claimed over a million lives.

His comments had received condemnation from Nigerians.

Mr Adebayo noted that the association wished to confirm that its members had received formal instructions from NCC, the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.

“ALTON has also 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 NCC.

“We will continue to engage all relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC, ” Mr Adebayo said.

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