2019 Elections: We Have No Plans To Shut Down The Internet- ONSA
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The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has advised the general public to disregard the allegation 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 as a disinformation.
ONSA said in a release signed by its spokesman, Danjuma Reuben and made available to digitaltimesng.com that because the Internet and associated communications infrastructure are major components of the Critical National Information Infrastructure, which ONSA is mandated to ensure its security, it cannot, therefore, use the same infrastructure to undermine the country’s security.
“ONSA 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,” ONSA said in the statement.
The statement adds: “The Office of the National Security Adviser remains committed to protecting the rights of the public to access ICT facilities. The Office also remains non-partisan and committed to ensuring that Nigerians freely exercise their civic rights.”
Recall that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had last week alleged that the Federal Government, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, had directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to work with internet service providers to shut down internet access during the forthcoming elections.
He spoke while playing host to a delegation of the Savannah Centre Council on Peaceful and Violence-Free Nigeria who was on a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Wike said that shutting down of internet access by the NSA and INEC was aimed at facilitating the rigging of the 2019 general elections.
“The National Security Adviser has met with INEC to ensure that internet service providers shut down the internet so that foreign bodies won’t see what is happening in the country during the elections. They will jam all the frequencies and internet services to stop real-time communication during the elections,” Wike had alleged.