In a desperate move to completely shut out Nigerians from further accessing the suspended Twitter platform in the country through Virtual Private Network (VPN), The Federal Government of Nigeria, it was gathered, are currently mounting pressure on Search Engine Giant – GOOGLE, and Tech Giant – APPLE to remove VPN apps from their Nigeria Play Store and App store.
Since the announcement of the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria on Friday, Nigerians have expressed deep anger at the government for trying to alter their rights of expression. However, many have turned to the use of VPN as an alternative route to access the social media platform.
The Virtual Private Network is a secure tunnel which provides easy and Effective Avenue for people to protect their traffic and keep their identities private online. The VPN however enables your internet traffic to easily pass through an encrypted tunnel.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the reason for the indefinite suspension of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter in the country was due to the “persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
This decision was taken after Twitter deleted a controversial tweet posted on the personal account of the president @MBuhari. Twitter said on Wednesday that Buhari’s post threatening to punish groups blamed for attacks on government building had violated Twitter’s “abusive behavior” policy.
In his deleted tweet posted on Tuesday night, Buhari made a threatening comment against those “who wanted the government to fail” reminding them of the consequences of the 30-monthn old civil war in 1967-1970.
He wrote, “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”.
Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, Lai Mohammed accused Twitter of working out a suspicious agenda. He said, “The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspect. Has Twitter deleted the violent tweets that Nnamdi Kanu has been sending?”
“We have a country to rule, and we will do so to the best of our ability. Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is very suspect, they have an agenda”.Should the current move by the country’s Federal Government to block the usage of the Virtual Private Network in the country, Nigerians may totally lose any form of access to Twitter platform.Meanwhile, following the directive by Nigerian government, The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has suspended access to Twitter. Speaking in a statement jointly signed by ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and executive secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga on Saturday morning, the association said its action was based on a directive by the telecommunications industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The statement says, “We 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 license terms under which the industry operates; our members have acted in compliance with the directives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the industry regulator.”