Tension in Zamfara over planned shutdown of telecommunication network

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Panic has resurfaced in Zamfara State over the plan by the State government to shutdown telecommunication network services in the State.

The Governor on Wednesday, through his Special Adviser on media and communication, Hon. Zailani Bappa announced that the government may put stringent security measures in place following the rising security challenges ravaging the State.

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The Governor stated this while reacting to the abduction of 30 youths along Sokoto-Zamfara road last weekend, saying that the rising activities of informants to the bandits had resurfaced in the State.

He lamented the rising activities of the informants, who are giving information to the bandits against the innocent citizens, reiterating the determination of the government to take more stringent measures to contain the menace, including telecommunication shutdown when necessary.

The announcement has generated a lot of tension in the State, as the residents recalled the past experiences that seriously affected the economic lives of the people.

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Recall that the State government had in September 2021 implemented some security measures to checkmate the insecurity situation bedeviling the State, which included shutting down of telecommunication network services.

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ecocitytv reports that the security measures were subsequently emulated by the neighboring States like Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto and Niger.

Even with these security measures, terror attacks on innocent citizens continued unabated, hence, the suspension after about two months.

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One Dr Alhaji Muhammad Gusau, an activist has dropped his comments on the issue via his Facebook handle, saying that the State government is considering shutting down telecommunication network services due to security challenges in the State.

“This will seriously affect the State economy which is not a good decision. When the government shut down the networks from September to October, in some places, to almost December, ordinary people suffered.

“All legitimate endeavours were halted, livelihood affected, yet the security measures did not produce any beneficial result regarding security of lives and properties in the State,” he said.

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However, another public commentator, Alhaji Ahmed Bakare an advocate of good governance in the State also commented on the topic through his Facebook page:

“When the State government first shutdown telecommunication network services in 2021, no record of improvement was released from Defense Headquarters because it used to release timely progress updates

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“Neither did the State government claim to have recorded any success apart from the claim of the Governor that over one hundred of informants have been arrested

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“Yet, no suspect was arraigned and prosecuted”, the public commentator lamented.

“A serious government should rather exploit communication opportunities to locate, isolate, and possibly attack criminals’ targets.

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“I don’t think Zamfara people can afford to endure such an experience for the second time if telecommunication network services are shut down again in the State,” he said.

However, the Governor’s spokesman, Hon. Zailani Bappa has said the public misconceived the statement of the Governor.

According to him, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle said the security agencies would advise him and that he may shutdown telecommunication network services if need be.

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