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FG denies plot to shut down internet access over polls

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja |   02 February 2019   |   4:30 am  

PHOTO: Pixabay

The Federal Government has denied the allegation making the rounds in the media that it had connived with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to shut down Internet access during the forthcoming general elections.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had yesterday alleged that the Federal Government, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, (NSA) had directed the INEC to work with Internet service providers to shutdown Internet access during the elections.

Wike alleged that shutting down Internet access by NSA and INEC was aimed at facilitating rigging

Reacting to the allegation, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in a statement signed yesterday in Abuja by the Spokesman, Danjuma Reuben, said the office works with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government in making continuous efforts to protect them and improve service delivery to Nigerians, noting that every single national security platform in the country rides on the same Internet to function.

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Reuben noted that every communications infrastructure are major components of the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII), which he said the office is mandated to ensure its security are well protected.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Office of the National Security Adviser has been drawn to the allegation making rounds in the media that the ‘Federal Government, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work with internet service providers to shut down internet access during the forthcoming elections to facilitate rigging of the 2019 elections.’ The Office wishes to advise the general public to disregard the allegation, which is a disinformation.

“This Office, wishes to state that the Internet and associated communications infrastructure are major components of the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII), which ONSA is mandated to ensure its security.

“Accordingly, the Office in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government makes continuous efforts to protect them and improve service delivery to Nigerians. Furthermore, every single national security platform in the country rides on the same Internet to function. Therefore “shutting down” the Internet is akin to shutting down national development and security.”

According to the spokesman, the office remains committed to protecting the rights of the public to access Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities, adding, “the Office also remains non-partisan and committed to ensuring that Nigerians freely exercise their civic rights.”

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