The suspension comes two days after a social media giant deleted a tweet from President Buhari’s account for violating its rules.
Nigerian telecom operators restrict access to Twitter a day after government announces indefinite suspension for activities that are “capable of disrupting Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The suspension came two days after Africa’s most populous social media country has been deleted tweet from President Mohammed Buhari on account of violating his rules.
“The federal government has indefinitely suspended microblogging and social networking sites such as Twitter and Nigeria,” said Segun Adeyemi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Information and Culture, in a statement on Friday.
The Nigerian Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON) has confirmed that its members have received official instructions from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.
The statement said that a strong assessment of the inquiry had been made that the members had “acted accordingly”.
“Network data shows that access to Twitter և feedback servers is now limited to leading networks like MTN, Globacom, Airtel և 9mobile,” Netblocks, a London-based Internet monitor, wrote on its website on Saturday.
Twitter said the move was “deeply worrying.”
“We are researching and will provide updates when we know more,” the company said in a statement.
Amnesty International on Friday condemned the move, calling on Nigeria to “immediately lift the illegal suspension”.
“This repressive act is a clear attempt to censor dissent, to stifle civil space,” said Annette Evang, a Human Rights Watch researcher.
In 2019, Nigeria announced that it would tighten social media regulations to combat false news and misinformation, raising concerns about freedom of speech.
On Wednesday, Twitter deleted a remark made on the president’s account after he referred to the recent unrest in the Southeast in the wake of the country’s civil war.
The 78-year-old president, a former general, referred to the “unpleasant” cases of recent violence in the south-east, where officials accuse separatists of attacking police and election offices.
“Those of us who have been on the battlefield for 30 months, who have gone through the war, will be treated in a language they understand,” the president tweeted.
A number of countries, including China and Turkey, have been criticized for imposing restrictions on social media platforms such as Twitter.
In February, Twitter condemned Myanmar for blocking access to its social media platform in the days following the coup, which ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders.