The Sokoto State government has shut down telecommunications networks in 14 of the 23 local government areas of the state.
This was disclosed in a statement on Monday by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Muhammad Bello.
“About three weeks after it approved an Executive Order in response to the situation of insecurity in the eastern flank of Sokoto State, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Monday disclosed the state’s collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to block services of communications operations in 14 local government areas of the state,” Bello said.
The LGAs affected by the Executive Order include Gada, Goronyo, Gudu, Ilela, Isa, Kebbe, Sabon Birni, Shagari, Rabah, Tambuwal, Tangaza, Tureta, Wurno, and Dange Shuni.
Bello stated that 13 of the local governments were initially affected by the Security Challenges (Containment) Order approved on September 1.
He explained that the order led to the closure of some roads to motorists, suspension of animal trades, prohibition of transportation of cattle, as well as transportation of more than three persons on motorcycles and tricycles, among others.
“In addition to these local government areas, Dange Shuni local government area will also be affected by the latest communications blockade, bringing the number of LGAs affected to 14,” the governor’s spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, there was confusion in parts of Sokoto after the telecommunications network from two major service providers went down, as residents were unable to make calls or access internet services.
But telecommunication services were available for users of two other service providers, a situation that reduced the tension and apprehension among the people.
Comments and posts on most social media platforms in the state were mostly expressions of frustration and anger by residents questioning the rationale behind the decision of the authorities.
On Sunday, six locals were killed when bandits attacked Saminaka – a village located along the Bale-Tangaza Road in Tangaza, one of the LGAs affected by the Executive Order.
Sources in the village said the village came under attack in the morning and those killed comprised two married women and four children.
The women were reported to have been shot dead when they made an attempt to escape from the assailants.
However, the spokesperson for the Sokoto State Police Command, said they had not been briefed of the attack.