The suspension comes two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Buhari’s account for violating its rules.
Nigerian telecom operators have restricted access to Twitter, a day after the government announced its indefinite suspension for activities “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
The suspension in Africa’s most populous country came two days after the social media giant removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s account for violating its rules.
“The federal government has suspended indefinitely the operations of the microblogging and social media service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” Ministry of Information and Culture spokesman Segun Adeyemi said in a statement on Friday.
The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) confirmed that its members had received formal instructions from the Communications Commission of Nigeria (NCC), the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.
A statement said a solid assessment of the application had been made and that members “had acted in compliance”.
“Network data shows that access to the Twitter platform and backend servers is now restricted to the leading MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile networks,” London-based Internet monitor Netblocks wrote on Saturday. .
Twitter said the move was “deeply troubling.”
“We are researching and will provide updates when we know more,” the company said in a statement.
Amnesty International on Friday condemned the move and called on Nigeria to “immediately reverse the illegal suspension”.
“This repressive action is a clear attempt to censor dissent and stifle civic space,” said Anietie Ewang, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.
In 2019, Nigeria had announced that it would tighten regulations on social media to combat fake news and misinformation, raising concerns about freedom of expression.
On Wednesday, Twitter deleted a comment on the president’s account after referring to the country’s civil war in a warning about recent riots in the southeast.
The 78-year-old president, a former general, referred to “those who misbehaved” in the recent violence in the southeast, where officials blame separatists for attacks on police and polling stations.
“Those of us who have been in the camp for 30 months, who spent the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” the president had posted on Twitter.
Several countries, including China and Turkey, have been on fire for imposing restrictions on social media platforms such as Twitter.
In February, Twitter condemned Myanmar for blocking access to its platform as part of a crackdown on social media, days after a coup that jailed Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders.