Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, has explained that security agencies requested the shutdown of telecommunications activities in Zamfara.
Speaking with State hlHouse correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, the minister said the Federal Government did not object to the request when it came from the security agencies.
Pantami reiterated that the government is willing to sacrifice economic gains in the telecoms sector for security benefits.
He said: “I am aware of the shutting down, but the request is not from us. Rather, the request is from the security institutions, in which they asked for that as part of their strategy.
“Because of this, government allowed them to go ahead and even that one, the reason for doing that I may be aware of some, but I’m sorry to say it’s not for public discussion.
“What I only plead with all of us, as laymen, we shall try to give our security institutions the support they need in order to deliver on their mandate.
“Security issues today are not only for the security institutions alone but there is a role that each and every citizen can play in order to make their work more successful.
“So, I plead with the media to support our security institutions and let us give them the benefit of doubt; when they come up with a strategy, let us not unnecessarily criticise it, except we allow them to begin and see.
“Particularly, they could have information at their disposal that you and I do not have and if you lack information, you will not be able to do justice in your deliberation. It is only when there is sufficient information at your disposal, then you can argue. But if you don’t have it, even if you partake in any debate, you will finally discover that you have made a very wrong decision. So, it is because of this.
On whether the shutdown will be extended to Katsina, Kaduna and other bandit-infested states, he said responding to such a question will jeopardise security.