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FG Denies Plot To Shut Down Internet Access During 2019 General Elections

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has released a statement denying 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.

The Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike had 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.

The governor claimed the directive was aimed at facilitating rigging

Reacting to the allegation, in a statement it issued on behalf of the federal government on Friday, the ONSA said the allegation was a disinformation, and advised members of the public to disregard it in its entirely.

The statement signed by Danjuma Reuben, Spokesman of the office of the NSA, 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.”

“The Office of the National Security Adviser remains committed to protecting the rights of the public to access Information and Communication Technology facilities. The office also remains nonpartisan and committed to ensuring that Nigerians freely exercise their civic rights.”

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