Sokoto Governor Writes Nigerian Govt To Suspend Telecom Services Ban After HumAngle Report

The Government of Sokoto State in Nigeria’s Northwest region is seeking federal approval to lift the ban on telecommunications services as part of measures against insecurity.

Aminu Tambuwal, the Governor of Sokoto State in Northwest Nigeria, has written to the Nigerian Government to suspend the blockade of telecom services in the state following repeated attacks on its eastern flank by terrorists.

This is coming barely three days after HumAngle’s report on the spate of killings in the region despite the stringent measures employed by the state to tame the activities of the terrorists.

Last month, the governments of the northwestern states of Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna, shutdown telecoms, banned weekly markets, and restricted sales of fuel, among other measures to end terrorism and banditry in the region. Instead, the region continues to record attacks on civilians and military formations. 

In Sokoto, most villages in the eastern flank have become strongholds of terrorists who have killed 139 people including security operatives in the state, analysis of media reports between September to October 18, shows. This, however, does not include incidents that were not reported.

Muritala Rufai, a security expert, told HumAngle the shutdown of telecom services in the region is simply a window-dressing measure as it does not stifle the activities of terrorists operating in the region.

Tambuwal told journalists the state had written to the Federal Government to suspend the blockade of telecom services earlier imposed on terror-hit parts of the state.

“Following an enlarged security council meeting on the fallout of bandits attack on Goronyo market which claimed the lives of 43 people last week, Sokoto State government has formally written to the Federal Government to suspend the blockade of telecommunications services earlier imposed on 14 local government areas of the state.”

According to the governor,  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.

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

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Abiodun Jamiu

Abiodun is an investigations reporter at HumAngle. His works focus on the intersection of public policy and development, conflict and humanitarian crisis, climate and environment. He was a 2022 Solution Journalism Fellow with Nigeria Health Watch under its Solution Journalism Africa initiative project.

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