Nigerian tweeps have resorted to using Virtual Private Network (VPN) as the country’s telecommunications operators have blocked access to Twitter on the order of President Muhammadu led Federal Government.
VPNs, which can be downloaded from Apple Store or Google Store, allows users to choose any country and state of their choice, and generates an IP address to bypass the blocked access in a country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had announced the decision to ban Twitter on Saturday after the social media platform deleted a tweet by President Buhari threatening to deal with agitators in the country’s Southeast.
By 12 am on Saturday, many noticed that they could not longer access the platform using their mobile networks.
The telcos, under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said there had been a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block Nigerians from accessing the platform.
A statement jointly signed by ALTON Chairman and Executive Secretary, Gbenga Adebayo and Gbolahan Awonuga confirmed this.
ALTON statement reads: “We, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) wish to confirm that our members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator to suspend access to Twitter.
“ALTON has 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 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the industry regulator.
“We will continue to engage all the relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC.
“We remain committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens.
“As an industry, we endorse the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online. This includes 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.”