The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) responsible for the telecommunications and subsidiary services in Nigeria, has announced today that it has received orders from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to suspend access to twitter.
The President of ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Saturday.
The suspension of twitter in Nigeria was announced a few days after some tweets made by the president of Nigeria, Gen Muhammadu Buhari were deleted due to the violation of twitter’s community terms and conditions. The president criticized the US social media giant’s decision to take it down, calling it “double standards”.
Some users have been struggling to access site after the government suspension.
Access to Twitter through Nigeria’s main phone providers has been blocked, according to reports from Lagos and the capital, Abuja.
It is still accessible on some wi-fi networks.
This comes after the government said it was suspending Twitter operations in the country “indefinitely”.
The ban was due to “the persistent use of the platform for activities… capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, a statement said.
Twitter said Friday’s announcement from Information Minister Lai Mohammed was “deeply concerning”.
By Saturday morning, BBC reporters in Lagos and Abuja said they were unable to connect to Twitter through two of the country’s largest phone networks: MTN and Airtel. Others have also been affected.
Access was still possible through some wi-fi providers, but this is not a common way to connect to the internet in Nigeria.
Search terms such as “VPN” were popular overnight, according to the search tracking site Trends map.
A VPN – or Virtual Private Network – connection makes it appear as if the user is accessing the internet from another country, and has been a way to get round similar bans in other countries.
The tweet sent by Mr Buhari on 1 June referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and to treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand”.
A Twitter spokesperson said at the time that the post “was in violation of the Twitter Rules”.