Just In: Governor El-Rufai lifts ban on telecom network as bandits prove smarter

Bandits recently took control of Kaduna-Abuja expressway, an area also affected by network ban.

Friday, November 26, 2021

/ by National Pivot

The Kaduna State Government has announced the lifting of its three-month telecommunications shutdown it imposed in October as a measure meant to outsmart bandits by disrupting their means of communications. 

However, due to continuous and most recent attacks by bandits along the Kaduna-Abuja road, the Governor El-Rufai government has decided to end the directive due to poor outcome since it was introduced back in October.

The new directive to restore telecom network in the affected areas, was announced by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Friday. 

The statement reads, "I am here to inform you that the Kaduna State Government has contacted the relevant federal agencies to effect the immediate restoration of telecommunication services which were suspended in some local government areas.  

"Security agencies had requested the shutdown in October 2021, among other measures, to assist ongoing operations against armed bandits and other criminals. The security agencies have now notified the government that telecoms services can be restored.

"Along with the other measures in the security containment order, the telecoms shutdown had helped the security agencies to achieve some results, which the security forces will reel out soon. The prolonged application of this measure was always out of the question, due to its impact on the legitimate activities of citizens and businesses.

"Residents are advised that the restoration of full services in the affected areas may unfold over a few days, as the service providers mobilise to power and boost their transmission systems accordingly.

"The Kaduna State Government regrets the inconveniences residents of the affected LGAs may have encountered as a result of the shutdown. The state government wishes to commend the sacrifices made by residents while this temporary measure lasted." 

Aruwan however, said other measures like the ban on motorcycles, ban on weekly markets, selling of fuel in kegs remain in force.

"Notwithstanding, the government wishes to reiterate that the other measures announced as part of the security containment orders remain in force. These include the prohibition of motorcycles all over the state, the ban on weekly markets, transportation of cattle, and the prohibition of sale of fuel in jerrycans in specified local government areas," he added.

Smart Bandits

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, has disclosed that the decision to shutdown telecom networks in parts of Katsina State in a bid to outsmart bandits, seem to have benefited bandits more than the security forces going after them.

Masari disclosed this in a statement through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Inuwa Mohammad, at a press briefing to give an update on the Government Security Containment Order issued by Governor Aminu Masari two months ago to tackle security challenges in the state. 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Masari said while the shutting down of telecom network was meant to disrupt communications among bandits operating in the state, they now make use of radio frequency Walkie-Talkie Transceivers for communication among themselves.

Mohammad said, “A recent and most worrisome move by the criminals was the acquisition and use of Radio Frequency Walkie-Talkie Transceivers.”

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