NBC orders broadcast stations to deactivate Twitter accounts

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The National Broadcasting Commission has ordered all broadcast stations in Nigeria to suspend the use of Twitter.

A statement by its Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba, on Monday directed television and radio stations 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.”

The Federal Government had, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced a ban on the activities of the microblogging platform on Friday after Twitter deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mohammed had also directed the NBC to “immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.”

Idachaba’s statement reads: “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.

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“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).”

Idachaba warned that it would be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information, adding: “Strict compliance is enjoined.”

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