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Kaduna shuts down telecom Services to curb insecurity; 6th Nigerian state in weeks

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The Kaduna State Government has joined three other states in the Northern part of Nigeria- Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina- to order telecommunications firms to suspend their services in their domains in the past 4 weeks. Just like the others, the Kaduna State Government made the decision to curb the incessant cases of kidnapping and banditry.

This was made known by Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan while addressing journalists today in the state capital, Kaduna. He also said that

The Kaduna State Government has joined Zamfara and two other states in the Northern part of the country by asking telecommunications firms to suspend their services in some parts of the state from tomorrow to check the activities of bandits.

State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said this while addressing journalists Thursday in Kaduna. He also said the use of motorcycles for transport services has also been suspended across the state.

Aruwan told journalists that the state government has formally requested that the Federal Government help to enforce the shutdown of services in parts of the state identified by security agencies as requiring the measures. He also urged the residents to comply with the directives.

Aruwan said:

“You will recall that Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced in a media chat yesterday (28th September 2021) that the state government has formally requested the Federal Government to enforce the shutdown of telecom services in parts of the state identified by security agencies as requiring such measures.”

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I am here to inform you of, and to formally announce that the relevant federal agencies have today informed the Kaduna State Government that the processes for telecoms shutdown in parts of the state have commenced”, he said.

The commissioner also announced other security measures that have been designed to help the security agencies perform their duties properly. These include:

The complete ban on the use of motorcycles (Okada), for commercial or personal purposes, for three months in the first instance.

Ban on possession of or wielding of dangerous weapons.
Tricycles are allowed to operate only from 6 am to 7 pm. All tricycles must remove all curtains. The movement of all tricycles is restricted from dusk till dawn (7 PM to 6 AM).

All vehicles used for commercial transport must be painted in yellow and black within 30 days.
Vehicles that are part of ride-hailing services are to carry yellow and black stripes. Ban on the sale of petrol in jerry-cans or other containers in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kachia, Kagarko and Kajuru LGAs.

History of shutdowns
Kaduna is the 4th Northern Nigeria state to have adopted this measure. Recall that the Sokoto state government ordered the shut down of telecommunications networks in 14 local governments last week.

Zamfara state, also under the scourge of banditry shut down telecoms services on September 3 in a bid to curb the criminal activity. It was the first state to blackout communication services after an order from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Katsina state also ordered operators to shut down services in 13 of its 24 local governments a few weeks back. The home state of President Muhammadu Buhari has experienced school abductions over the past year.

This is not the first time telecoms networks will be shut down though. In an attempt to combat the terrorist activities of Boko Haram in 2013, the Federal Government shut down telecommunications services in three states in the northeast; Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.

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