By Sadiq Tijjani Inuwa
Admittedly, the shutdown of Telecom services in the areas ravaged by insecurity can be seen as, to some extent, effectively reduced the activities of Bandit and Kidnappers by cutting off the major means of communication between the criminals and victims’ families in terms of negotiation for ransom etc. The policy is also effective in terms of curtailing the activities of informants whose job is to provide intelligence and even the logistics for the execution of the heinous act. However, the policy should be and remain, as the government said, a temporary measure to enable the military dismantle the bandits from their hideouts.
It’s equally important to note that, the order by Governor Masari for the public to defend themselves, though risky and unorthodox, has contributed to the relative peace we enjoy at least in Bakori, my locality. One thing is clear, the bandits are afraid of any community that organized themselves waiting for them to come. They hardly attacked a community they have no guarantee of going back alive.
We do acknowledge the modest successes the various measures taken by the state government have recorded so far, nevertheless we are appealing to Governor Masari to lift the ban on telecommunication services, at least in the areas least affected such as Malumfashi, Bakori, Danja and Funtua.
There are thousands of people whose source of livelihood largely depend on telecommunication services. People like recharge card vendors, POS agents, Internet Cafes and online retailers have all solely depended on Telecom service providers. These are young men and women that are self- reliant and now added to the army of jobless youth. Many businesses that depends more or less on phone calls have shrieveled and eventually forced to closed down and now turn to sitting in “Majalisa” to gossip and catch some fun. This is not to talk of the role of social media platforms as source of comic relief. All these have now gave way to playing ludo and idleness. The implication is huge!
Our people have lost out in a host of opportunities because of internet access. We have no way accessing the internet let alone recieved messages. A number of candidates are having issues with regards to admission in to some tertiary institutions and even registration for the returning students is difficult. The same with candidates who applied for job openings in Federal agencies and paramilitary such as Immigration. I know some candidates that were shortlisted for Immigration job but never knew because the available means with which they can be notified has been shutdown. It took one of our traditional rulers visit to a place where there is network for one officer to contact him on Facebook and pleaded with him to look for the candidates just a day to the closure of documentation. Had it been that officer did not saw him online the candidates might have lost that rare opportunity. Just imagine a situation where you got a job in this our NIGERIA only to missed out because you don’t have network in your area!
If care is not taken, the measure may be counterproductive in the end!