Why we obeyed Nigerian govt’s order to suspend access to Twitter – Telecoms operators

Twitter : Nigerian government asks telecommunications operators to suspends access to the platform

By Funmilola Gboteku

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry group, says it had complied with the order of the Nigerian government as received through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.

The clarifications from ALTON followed complaints from many Nigerians that they cannot access their twitter accounts on Saturday morning.

The Federal Government had on Friday announced a ban on activities of twitter in Nigeria following the removal of a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari deemed offensive by the platform.

The Federal Government had announced indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.

The President of ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo made in a statement issued in Lagos, on Saturday confirmed 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, ” Adebayo said.

He said the association remained committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens.

As an industry, ALTON endorsed the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online, Adebayo’s statement said.

He noted that this included 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.