NBC orders Nigerian TV, radio stations to deactivate Twitter accounts

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed television and radio stations in Nigeria to suspend the use of Twitter.

The NBC also ordered the stations to refrain from using Twitter as a source of news. The stations must also stop reading or replying tweets om their shows. They are also to deactivate their Twitter accounts.

The directive came after Muhammadu Buhari government banned the operations of Twitter in the country.

The government made the move after the social media platform deleted a tweet in which President Buhari threatened to unleash the military on separatists.

Telecoms operators carried out the Twitter ban by blocking their customers from using the social media service. But Nigerians resorted to virtual private networks (VPNs) and other firewall evasion tools to continue using the platform.

NBC issued its Twitter embargo directive on Sunday. It 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.”

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