Network shutdown in Katsina: A curse or blessing?


By Muawiya Uzairu

The rule of life says that things that work for town A and B might not work for town C and D simultaneously or respectively. That’s how the rule is naturally. However, we are not equal either, in whatever endeavour. As the saying goes: nothing is constant in life except change. It’s absolute, of course, unshakably. We are on earth to live and correlate with multiple people and things. Therefore, differences abound in many aspects. It’s also a reason behind our creation with diverse lenses of seeing, understanding, and judging things. I believe that everything has its positivity and negativity. Thus, to some other places, the negativity of the disconnection of the network in some local governments of Katsina State outweigh its positivity in a lion share particularly in some parts of Sabuwa, Ƙanƙara, Faskari, Batsari, and Ɗandume, among others. In these places, the disconnection has neither stopped the dreaded terror attacks nor wiped it out. It doesn’t reduce the frequent occurrences either.

Initially, I had no intention to spit a word on the above subject matter. It was recently that I feel I had better scribble some lines. The depth of the humiliation we faced from bandits was what galvanised and injected my veins to write, for public and government at all levels to hear the sort of trying times we have been passing through. Our lives transited on odds and predicaments to the extent that people had no other alternative than to expect their last breaths. It’s high time the government did a good awakening to save vulnerable souls. My opinion may go contrary to numberless minds, particularly those who have never been besieged by terrorists. In this endeavour, the piece chronicle will have pinpointed almost all the edges. The write-up is neither fictional nor my personal opinion. The network prescription is a threat to and violation of human rights. Of course, the government claimed that the network shutdown, the ban on carrying more than one person on a bike, the limit on petrol consumption by a bike in petrol stations, and the ban on petrol sale by roadsides and its migration to villages are good avenues to tackle the menace if it were well designed. The insecurity bedeviling the state must have carved. Unlucky, the Katsina State government didn’t hammer it perfectly.

I would try to justify my arguments before I switch off my pen on this journey. Keep scrolling.

The closure of network is one of the sticky and purple patches ever instilled in Katsina. It halts and hinders the smoothness of carrying out things as much as possible. It touches both the feat and development of urban and rural settlements, not only rural areas were mostly the plunders far-flung in a higher percentage. Being living in a computerised world in which 95% of both academic movement and business organisations are carried out technologically, people are being obsessed with networking. Thus, businesses are normally carried out digitally. How many people do you expect that earn living in the business of POS transactions and phone charging? They are countless and many of them depend on it to pay bills and bring meals to their families.

The shutting-down retrogressed and retarded the acceleration of financial standardisation of many individuals to the extent that many have migrated to cities to search for greener pastures. I know at least five people who had never left their village comfort zone for hawking, until the emergence of the halting of phones network. Very many of them rely on it as a source of income. Having no other alternative to focus on forces them to leave. By the way, given the exceeding limit of petrol consumption by cars and bikes in petrol stations is adroitly props, it minimized and carved the frequent attacks. However, the reverse is the case in some of the areas where the proscription was imposed.

My heart palpitated and shed rivulet tears when I went to Inonon Madawakia village close to Sabuwa of Katsina State for funeral prayers following a bloodbath of innocent souls who were mercilessly shot by insolent mischievous terrors. None of the deceased is above 30. Some of them were shot at more than three places in their bodies. The incident occurred on Wednesday early in the morning. The recent history of this banditry would be incomplete without the mention of the grouchy dilemma that befell the Inono’s people. It’s indeed a fateful day in all descriptions. Could you imagine, a sovereign state like Nigeria whose models of politics is on the basis of democracy to have over 20 housemen with a lot of offspring to cater for to have been killed and injured by bandits and go scot-free without capturing any of the Lynch mob by security agents? Sadly enough, many of the corpses were found in farms and other hidden units for cocooning their lives against the oppression of the oppressors.

Sadly again, the government neither sent a committee to condole nor gave a dime for reparations to the family of the deceased. For Allah’s sake, what a sort of inhumane and unjustifiable abuse! Women were forcefully transmogrified into widows and underage children were made orphans. Only God knows what kind of lives henceforth these people might live. Some might delve into evildoings if care is not taken. God forbid, amin. The brutality happened as a result of the network’s suspension, of course. Had it been the network was on, it wouldn’t be as ragamuffin as that because the deceased people may be given a helping hand on time. How do such victims deem it fit that the shutdown is essentially beamed to their lives? Absolutely no. The village was invaded two different times all amidst the network suspensions in the first week and the second came after a fortnight. How would one not think that the reason for the shutdown is to silence masses from criticising the government criticism? May Allah bring back the lost peace in the North and in Nigeria as a whole, amin.

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