Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has asked residents to prepare for a shutdown of telecommunication services amid rising insecurity in the state.
The governor, in a chat with some radio stations, said security agents are prepared to launch an offensive on bandits taking refuge in some parts of the state.
El-Rufai said the shutdown would not cover the entire state, adding that only local government areas bordering the troubled Zamfara and Katsina states where military onslaught is ongoing will be affected.
“We have been advised by the Military and other security agencies to shut down telecommunication services in certain LGAs but we are waiting for the security agencies to tell us which specific areas and when,” he said.
“But I want the people of Kaduna State to know that if they give us the go-ahead tomorrow [Wednesday], we will shut down tomorrow.”
El-Rufai, who spoke in Hausa, said due to the shutdown of telecommunication services in Zamfara and Katsina, some bandits crossed over to neighbouring local government areas in Kaduna to make phone calls and demand ransoms.
“There is no doubt that bandits and other criminals rely on telecommunication to communicate with their informants as well as with relatives of kidnapped victims so as to demand ransom,” he said.
The governor said he had already written to the federal government on the shutdown which he said had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I will not mention the LGAs to be affected but the local governments that are constantly being tormented by bandits know themselves,” he said adding that: “As soon as we get the nod from security agents, then the people of Kaduna State should know that we will shutdown telecommunication to give security agents the maximum cooperation to carry out operations in those areas.”