Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has directed telecommunications companies to restore mobile phone services in Gusau, the state capital city.


The directive applies to only the capital city.

File photo used to illustrate story.
Deadly attacks by bandits have ravaged Zamfara State, leading to the recent shutdown of telecommunications services to curb insecurity by preventing bandits from freely communicating on the phone.
 
Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed mobile telecommunications network providers to shut down their networks in Zamfara State for two weeks as part of measures to tackle the activities of bandits.
 
In a statement on Friday, Zailani Bappa, media aide to the governor, quoted Matawalle as saying the restoration of the service in the state’s capital is imperative following the “tremendous success” recorded in the fight against banditry.
 
“Government finds it necessary to ease the tight measures after the recorded successes. The operations have no doubt destabilised the criminals terrorising the state.
 
“To this end, the governor promised that his administration will continue to monitor closely the unfolding developments and will announce further decisions at the appropriate time,” the statement added.
 
 
In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.


About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different 'repentant' gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.
 
But despite all these, communities in the state were still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.
 
To curtail the banditry, the government shut down mobile telecommunications services.
 
There are also restrictions of movement in some parts of the state while markets, banks and other commercial places have been shut.
 

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