There is freedom of speech but freedom after speech is what the federal government does not seem to be assuring news platforms.

The government is making moves to permanently shut down a number of online newspapers, blogs and websites perceived to constitute “threat to national security.” 

Social media and internet users may also not be exempted from the clampdown, which will begin any moment from now.

The closest clue in what has been interpreted as an indirect attempt to gag the press and suppress opposing views since the advent of the current administration is the controversial bill to regulate social media, which has passed second reading in the Senate.

It was gathered that the government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission, has engaged the services of a firm in Lagos to block the domain names of “several identified websites threatening national security”.

The Office of the National Security Adviser drew the list of the offensive websites and the number is in excess of 21, a memo written by NCC, a copy of which Sunday Tribune got, said.

The letter, which was dated October 20, 2017, is a reminder memo to the firm, indicating that other letters had earlier been written to the firm by NCC.

The memo was entitled: “Re: Request to Prevent the Commission of an Offence under Section 146 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003."

It was signed by NCC’s Head, Legal and Regulatory Services, Yetunde Akinloye, while an official of the agency co-signed on behalf of Engineer Haru Alhassan, who is the Director, New Media and Information Security.

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