NBC directs Radio, TV stations to stop using Twitter

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed radio and television stations in the country to stop using Twitter.

The directive to the broadcasting stations was contained in a statement issued by NBC acting director-general, Armstrong Idachaba, on Monday.

The federal government had announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria on Friday.

The suspension came after the social media platform deleted a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Idachaba said stations should uninstall the application “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,” the DG said.

“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.”

Nigerians have been able to access Twitter through the use of a virtual private network (VPN).

In another development, the federal government has reportedly reached out to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) to discuss plans to build an internet firewall.

The internet firewall is a way of having a separate network for the Nigerian Internet that will give the government control over social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. 

This is similar to the internet filtering system China operates, called the Great Firewall.

FIJ reports that the government officials present at the meeting include Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, and Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.

The internet firewall will give the Nigerian government power to block VPN, which many Nigerians are using to access Twitter. 

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