Mobile phone services have been shut down in at least 13 local government areas of Katsina State in a bid to curb banditry.
This comes a week after SaharaReporters’ report that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had directed telecommunications operators to shut down services in Zamfara, another state overtaken by bandits.
Katsina is also the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The affected local government areas include Sabuwa, Faskari, Dandume, Batsari, Danmusa, Kankara, Jibia, Safana, Dutsin-Ma and Kurfi that are on the fringes of the Ruggu forest which is said to be the hideout of most of the bandits.
The other three are Funtua, Bakori and Malumfashi, Daily Trust reports.
Meanwhile, the NCC had earlier denied plans to shut down telecommunications sites in Katsina.
A statement by its Director General (Media), Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, had said the Executive Vice Chaiman/CEO of NCC, Professor Umar D. Danbatta, described the story as false.
According to the NCC, the report only cloned the situation in Zamfara where mobile telephone services have been shut down following a request by the state government to the NCC to do so, to tackle banditry.
Danbatta, in a letter to all telecoms operators on Friday, September 3, said the action was one of the strategies taken by security operatives to curb the banditry ravaging the state.
“The pervading security situation in Zamfara State has necessitated an immediate shutting down of all telecommunications service in the state from today, September 03, 2021.
“This is to enable relevant security agencies carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state, in line with the requirement, Globacom is hereby directed to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any site(s) in neighboring state that could provide telecommunications service in Zamfara State.
“The site shutdown is for two weeks (September 03 – 17, 2021) in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required,” a copy of the letter sent to Globacom Nigeria reads.
SaharaReporters, New York