According to The PUNCH, telecommunications companies in Nigeria assisted the federal government to block access to the microblogging site, Twitter, few hours a suspension order was given.
The Ministry of Information and Culture had announced the suspension of Twitter in a statement on Friday, on the grounds that the microblogging platform is a threat to Nigeria’ s corporate existence.
The federal government would not have been able to easily block access to Twitter in Nigeria if not for the assistance from telecommunication companies including MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9Mobile.
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Shockingly, Nigerian Twitter users woke up on Saturday to encounter difficulties in accessing their Twitter handles, while some turned to the use of virtual private networks in order to access the platform.
A statement from the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, obtained by The PUNCH reads:
” We, The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria wish to confirm that our members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission, the industry regulator to suspend access to Twitter.
” ALTON has conducted a robust assessment of the directive 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 Commission, the industry regulator.
” 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. “
Notwithstanding, side from MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9Mobile, some of the Internet Service Providers in Nigeria which aided the federal government to suspend Twitter include Smile Nigeria, Swift Networks Ltd, Spectranet, ipNX Nigeria Limited, Vezeti Service LTD, Cyberspace Network Limited, Netcom Africa, Mobitel Limited, and ITClick Solutions Limited.