Nigeria: NBC Orders TV, Radio Stations to Deactivate Twitter Accounts

Twitter removes Nigerian president’s ‘abusive’ civil war post

The move comes after the federal government's ban on Twitter activities in Nigeria

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has ordered all broadcasting stations in Nigeria to suspend the use of the popular microblogging platform, Twitter.

This was contained in a statement issued by its Director General, Armstrong Idachaba, on Monday morning.

Mr Idachaba said television and radio stations are advised to de-install twitter handles and "desist from using twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for News and programmes presentation especially Phone-in."

This is coming after the federal government's ban on Twitter activities in Nigeria.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Nigeria's information minister, Lai Mohammed, announced a ban on the activities of the microblogging platform on Friday after Twitter deleted a controversial post by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Mohammed also ordered the NBC to "immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria."

Owing to the ban, Nigerians have been denied access to Twitter and can only access by bypassing domain restrictions through alternative platforms.

The suspension is sequel to Twitter's sanction after Mr Buhari's controversial tweet about the civil war which some Nigerian users flagged and Twitter said violated its rules.

The government, in its response, accused the platform of bias against President Buhari and "undermining Nigeria's corporate existence.".

Although the presidency says the ban is temporary, human rights groups and foreign organisations have berated the President Buhari-led administration for censorship, calling for a reversal of the suspension.

Read full statement below

June 6, 2021

SUSPEND TWITTER HANDLES

Consequent on the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission directs all Broadcasting Stations in Nigeria to suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately.

In Compliance to the above directive, Broadcasting Stations are hereby advised to de- install twitter handles and desist from using twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for News and programmes Presentation especially Phone-in.

Section 2(1) r of the NBC Act entrusts the Commission with responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the national laws, rules and regulations. Also, section 3.11.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that "the broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a matter depicting that law and order are socially superior to or more desirable than Crime and Anarchy.

Attention is also drawn to section 5.6.3 of The Code which requires Broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society in the use of a user generated Content (UGC).

Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information therefore strict compliance is enjoined.

Prof Armstrong Idachaba

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