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NBC directs TV, radio stations to deactivate Twitter accounts

By Barakat Odegbola

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed all television and radio stations in Nigeria to deactivate the American microblogging and social networking service, Twitter accounts with immediate effect.

The Commission directed the broadcast stations to stop their usage as user-generated content (UGC) for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.

NBC said the decision followed the indefinite ban placed on the platform 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 acting Director-General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, issued the directive in a statement on Monday titled: “Suspend Twitter handles.”

The Commission directed television and radio stations to de-install Twitter handles and stop their usage as user-generated content (UGC) for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.

It warned that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter.

The statement further noted section 5.6.3 of the broadcast code which requires broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite panic or rift in the society in the use of UGC.

He said, “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.

“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).

“Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information therefore strict compliance is enjoined.”

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