Residents of Zamfara State are reportedly communicating via letter writing with their loved ones, as the mobile network blackout persists.
In a report by BBC Pidgin, a resident of Kano with relatives in Zamfara, Umar Saminu, said he had found it difficult to contact his family via phone and had decided to write a letter as was obtainable in the olden days.
The adoption of letter writing trails a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that all telecom sites in the state should be suspended over rising insecurity.
SaharaReporters had on Friday reported how Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission in a letter to all telecom operators said the action was one of the strategies taken by security operatives in curbing banditry ravaging the state.
In the memo signed by the NCC and directed at the telecos, the suspension of services would last between September 3 through September 17 in the first instance.
The commission had also said the directive was to enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state.
Saminu explained that he had to write a letter and had given it to someone who was embarking on a journey to Zamfara State as phones lines could not be reached.
He said, “I cannot remember the last time I sat down to write a letter until now, my wife and children are there and I haven’t been able to reach them for days now, that was why I wrote a letter yesterday and gave to somebody that was travelling to Zamfara to help me deliver and they will also write a letter and give someone coming to Kano in two days.”
“This is the situation we find ourselves and the discomfort is just too much, the Federal Government banned Twitter, everyone was complaining. Now for the people of Zamfara, the whole network was disconnected.”
Another respondent, Shehu Amir, who also has family members in Zamfara revealed plans to write a letter to his family by Wednesday as that will make it 5 days without hearing from ‘his people’.
“Since the inception of mobile phones in Nigeria, my family has been using it, so this is the first time we would experience something like this and this feeling is not palatable all but we hope this is a price to pay to end insecurity for our dear state.”
Efforts were made to reach the Zamfara state government officials or even the state police command but in all, about 10 numbers were not connecting to show that it affected everybody in the state.