The Nigerian Federal Government has announced that it will be blocking access to microblogging and social media platform, Twitter, in Nigeria indefinitely.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, “citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.”
This ban comes just days after Twitter deleted the president’s tweet for violating its policies. Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari made a tweet in which he made reference to the unfortunate Biafran civil war, remarking that those misbehaving today would be treated “in the language they understand.”
With this directive, Nigeria joins a list of countries including China, Iran, Russia, North Korea and Turkmenistan that have also either banned or restricted access to the social media network. It is unclear how long this suspension will last, as it is stated to have effect “indefinitely”.
Twitter has not issued a statement officially but a Twitter spokesperson spoke to TechCabal saying:
“The announcement made by the Nigerian Government that they have suspended Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is deeply concerning. We’re investigating and will provide updates when we know more.”
This move by the Nigerian government has justified twitter’s decision to snub Nigeria and set up its African headquarters in Ghana.
Few hours after the ban, Facebook also deleted the post on their platform for violating the community standards .
“In line with our global policies, we’ve removed a post from President Buhari’s Facebook page for violating our Community Standards against inciting violence. We remove any content, from individuals or organisations that violates our policies on Facebook.”, Facebook Spokesperson stated.
Image credit: Twitter