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Sokoto urges Federal Government to suspend blockade of telecoms services

*Sokoto State Government of Nigeria calls for suspension of the current blockade of telecommunications services in view of the security outfits’ expressed concerns, that the outage is affecting smooth conduct of their military operations against bandits in the North-West state

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Following the earlier deactivation of telecoms services in the North-West state, the Sokoto State Government (SOSG) has requested the Federal Government to suspend the current blockade of Internet-driven services in 14 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

ConsumerConnect had reported that the blockade of telecommunications base stations was effected Monday, September 20, 2021, as part of efforts at tackling the marauding bandits operating in the region of the country.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State

Similarly, the Federal Government had deactivated telecoms services in the several parts of the neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna states.

RELATED: Insecurity: Sokoto Deactivates Telecoms Networks In 14 Local Council Areas

However, the Sokoto State Government Saturday, October 23, 2021, said after “an enlarged security council meeting on the fallout of bandits attack on Goronyo market which claimed the lives of 43 people last week”, it was necessary to review the blockade in the 14 affected LGAs in the state.

Muhammad Bello, Spokesperson to Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, in a statement said: “According to Governor (Aminu) Tambuwal, the call for the rescinding of the blockade became necessary in view of concerns expressed by security outfits in the state that the outage was affecting the smooth conduct of their works.

RELATED Insecurity: Government Shuts Telecoms Services In Zamfara, Others As NCC Notifies Telcos

“He said the state government has already forwarded a letter to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to review the Internet blockade.”

Bello noted that Governor Tambuwal disclosed the state’s decision was made, when he  received, last Saturday, the North-East Governors Forum (NEGF), represented by Governors of Borno and Gombe state, Prof. Babagana Aymara Zulum and Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya respectively.

Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy

The statement said that the North-East Governors were paying a condolence visit to the state over the recent bandits’ attacks on residents of the state.

It is recalled that against the backdrop of the continued spate of insecurity and as part of the efforts at curbing banditry in the state, Sokoto State Government shut down telecommunications services in 14 of the 23 LGAs at the time.

READ ALSO Banditry: Experts Disagree As Telcos Implement NCC’s Directive, Deactivate Telecoms Base Stations In Zamfara, Others

However, SERAP and some other experts, who had argued against the Federal Government’s decision to shut down telecoms services in the affected states of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto, said the authorities should have explored other measures instead of wholesale excommunication of the telecoms consumers in the region of the country.

Governor Tambuwal, who announced the development Monday, September 20, 2021, nonetheless, had disclosed the authorities enforced the action, after due approval from Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy.

The governor, who spoke on Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service, had stated that the 14 affected local government areas are the “most vulnerable to bandit attacks” in the state.

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