What will happen to the internet on election day.
The allegation that the Federal Government 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 has been denied by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike had alleged that the Federal Government is planning to direct ISPs in the country through the ONSA to shut down internet access in the country during the upcoming general election slated for 16th of this month.
In Wike’s words: “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.
But in a reacting to the allegation, the ONSA in a statement signed yesterday in Abuja by its Spokesman, Danjuma Reuben said “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.”
Describing it as a “disinformation, the office advised the general public to disregard the allegation.
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:
“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.”
He said further that 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.”