The Kaduna State government has informed residents of the state of plans to shut down telecommunication services in some parts of the state due to insecurity.
The state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who made the announcement during a media chat with some local radio stations in the state, said the planned shutdown of telecommunication services is because of the plan by security agencies to launch a massive attack on bandits taking refuge in some parts of the state.
El-Rufai explained that the shutdown would not cover the entire state. He, however, did not mentions the LGAs that would be affected, saying it would only affect local government areas bordering the troubled Zamfara and Katsina states.
He said, “We have been advised by the military and other security agencies to shut down telecommunication services in certain LGAs but we are waiting for the security agencies to tell us which specific areas and when.
“But I want the people of Kaduna State to know that if they give us the go-ahead tomorrow [Wednesday], we will shut down tomorrow.
“There is no doubt that bandits and other criminals rely on telecommunication to communicate with their informants as well as with relatives of kidnapped victims so as to demand ransom.”
The governor said he had already written to the Federal Government on the shutdown which he said had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I will not mention the LGAs to be affected but the local governments that are constantly being tormented by bandits know themselves,” he said.
Kaduna, like most states in the North-West zone, has been affected by banditry and kidnapping, especially in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kajuru, Kachia, and Zaria local government areas.
According to Governor El-Rufai, due to the shutdown of telecommunication services in Zamfara and Katsina states, some bandits crossed over to neighbouring local government areas in Kaduna to make phone calls and demand ransoms.
He also disclosed that Kaduna State Government has established a task force that will go around the hinterlands to monitor compliance with some of the security measures adopted by the state to tackle banditry and kidnappings. These measures include the closure of some fuel stations and markets to strangulate bandits in the forest.
While advising residents on the need to identify and report informants or accomplices of bandits, El-Rufai urged residents to report anyone who comes to buy between 20 to 100 loaves of bread to security agents.