NCC Shut Down All Telecom Operations In Zamfara – The Facts

The Nigerian Communications Commission has shuttered all telecom operations in the state of Zamfara, Nigeria, following the spread of misinformation on social media.

NCC Shut Down All Telecom Operations In Zamfara – The Facts

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that it has shut down all telecoms operations in the state of Zamfara, in order to prevent the spread of misinformation. "The Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said the commission was compelled to take the decision following persistent reports on social media of unverified numbers with unverifiable identities who are claiming they are able to provide relief materials in Zamfara state," a statement from NCC read.

NCC Shut Down All Telecom Operations In Zamfara

NCC further stated that it was highly regrettable that such unverified reports would result in panic and unnecessary movement of residents in the state to avoid being caught up in the dubious act. "We are alarmed by the rumour peddled by some unverified numbers and unverifiable identities on social media that they have some relief materials for the victims of the recent natural disaster in Zamfara. They claim to be selling food, water and other relief items. "However, we would like to assure all affected and vulnerable people in Zamfara state that there is no official or agency of the NCC out to perpetrate such a nefarious act by the sharing of unverified information and unverifiable names and numbers.

The Facts

The NCC however explained that such relief materials were being exchanged for deadly arms in exchange for money. Danbatta also said that a committee headed by NCC’s Director, Technical Services, Engr. Ibrahim Alli, was set up to investigate the circulation of unverified numbers with unverifiable identities seeking to provide relief materials. The committee in its report, confirmed that the suspected beneficiaries were in fact militants who were being given money and arms in exchange for cash and relief materials. Recovered arms The NCC Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said: “The Commission has received reports of proliferation of unverified numbers with unverified identities seeking to provide relief materials in exchange for cash and other valuables.

A new way forward

The NCC stated that it had communicated with all networks and operators in the affected areas and asked them to suspend all service as the fight against the spread of fake news is a collective one. Danbatta emphasised that NCC is working with relevant stakeholders to find a way forward in the fight against misinformation and fake news.

Conclusion

I hope you now have enough understanding of the facts surrounding the story. I also hope that you also understood why it is that the claim has gone viral even though it has been debunked by the media and the government agency who should be the trusted source for this sort of information. The fact is that there are people out there who know of a story but that there is no evidence or means of verification. They therefore felt compelled to make it popular to create sympathy for the opposition. That being the case, do you still believe a word they say?