Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to immediately reverse the suspension of internet and telecommunication networks in Zamfara State, and 13 local government areas of Katsina State.
The NCC recently ordered telecom operators to suspend all telecommunications networks in Zamfara State, and at least 13 local government areas of Katsina State purportedly to check “banditry”/terrorism.
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But SERAP in an open letter dated 11 September, 2021 and signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “The suspension of the internet and telecommunication networks in Zamfara and Katsina states, without any legal justification, is inconsistent with the principles of necessity and proportionality. The suspension is a form of collective punishment of Nigerians resident in these states.”
“The suspension of internet and telecommunication networks in Zamfara and Katsina states is particularly egregious, and suggests a disturbing trend, especially given the growing restriction of civic space in Nigeria. Shutdowns should never become an entrenched practice in the country”, SERAP said.