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SERAP urges Buhari to unbar telecommunications in Zamfara, Katsina



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 reverse the suspension of Internet and telecommunication networks in Zamfara and Katsina states.

The NCC recently ordered telecom operators to suspend all telecommunications networks in Zamfara and at least 13 local council of Katsina purportedly to check criminality.


But SERAP, in an open letter at the weekend signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, described the suspension of telecommunication networks, without any legal justification, as inconsistent with the principles of necessity and a form of collective punishment on Nigerians resident in these states.

The organisation stated: “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.”


According to the body, the authorities have a legal responsibility to protect, ensure and secure the rights to life and property, adding that such responsibility ought to be discharged in conformity with constitutional and international human rights standards.

SERAP further urged Buhari to sponsor an executive bill to explicitly recognise the right to access and use of the Internet as a constitutional right and an essential condition for the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and information.


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