The Coalition of Funtua Civil Society Organisations has called on Governor Aminu Masari to lift the ban on telecoms service in Katsina State as done by his counterparts in Zamfara and Kaduna states.
The coalition made the call in a press release by its acting chairman, Alh Umar A. Imam, and the secretary, Rabiu Umar Maska.
“That the state government as a matter of urgency to immediately emulate a similar action of both neighbouring states of Kaduna and Zamfara, restore the network services to reduce the sufferings and devastation that the communities presently suffer.
“If restriction of movement is anything helpful to the security operation, it should be adjusted to 10pm when the majority of the people would have completed their social and economic activities of the day.
“That the maltreatment of our people for using motorcycles by some police personnel should henceforth be stopped. That despite the numerous military and other interventions, the bandits have continued to unleash mayhem on the innocent citizens unabated,” the statement said.
The coalition, while admitting that the suspension of telecom service in the front line local governments was a good strategy aimed at curbing banditry, said the length of time taken made it lose its steam.
It noted that the bandits had secured other means of communication thereby continuing with onslaughts on their communities.
“Also, the suspension of the network for this lengthy period has caused collapse of businesses, loss of jobs, austerity, and increase in the abject poverty level with tendencies to increase the rate of insecurity, if not tamed,” it added.
Similarly, residents of security prone areas where the telecom services have been suspended have appealed to the state and federal governments to review the security situation and see the possibility of returning telecom services in those areas.
Kabir Safana, a computer business centre operator in Safana, noted that a prolonged shutdown would affect businesses adversely.
Similarly, a trader in Musawa Town, Mrs Deborah Adichie, observed that the suspension of telecom services had made it impossible for villages under attack to alert security agencies or members of the vigilante corps to come to their rescue.
It would be recalled that telecom services were suspended in parts of Katsina State in August following the rising spate of attacks by bandits and kidnappers in the frontline LGAs of the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, had at a news briefing recently pointed out that cases of banditry and kidnapping had dropped significantly since telecom services were suspended in the state.