The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed all broadcasting stations in Nigeria to suspend the use of the microblogging platform, Twitter.
The NBC directive came just as the Federal Government summoned the ambassadors of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria over their comments on the suspension of microblogging site, Twitter, in Nigeria.
A statement issued by NBC Director General, Armstrong Idachaba, on Monday, advised broadcasting stations 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.”
The statement read: “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.”
The Federal Government had Friday suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service site in Nigeria, citing the persistent use of the Twitter platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Twitter ban was announced by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, two days after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet posted wherein he threatened to deal with secessionists “in the language they understand”.
The social media networking site had said the tweet violated the Twitter Rules.
The ban has attracted widespread condemnations as Nigerians described it as violation of rights of citizens and a prelude to dictatorship.
More than 39 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, according to NOI polls, a public opinion and research organization based in Nigeria.
Nigerian telecoms operators complied with the government directive on the ban Friday but Nigerians are navigating around the ban using VPN.