After having their mobile telephone services restored on December 3, 2013, some few months ago, residents of Maiduguri and many parts of Borno State yesterday woke up to discover that they could no longer use their phones to make calls as there was no service.
All the major GSM service providers including MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Glo among others have switched off their masts as part of operations launched by security forces in the continued onslaught against the Boko Haram insurgents.
Information Nigeria reports that when President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May last year, telephone services were switched off in the three affected states but after some months and following a significant decline in attacks by insurgents, services were restored in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno State in that order.
Confirming the development, spokesperson of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Mohammed Dole, said residents had to make a lot of sacrifices towards the peace process.
“Yes, GSM services have been seized in Borno again and this is one of the sacrifices that people have to make. There is an ongoing operation and we want to get it right. We are hopeful services will be restored soon”, he said.
Dole thanked members of the Volunteer Vigilance Youth Groups, also known as the civilian JTF for their “unprecedented support to the military” in the ongoing offensive. He also described the media as partners in building confidence in the minds of the people as well as boosting the morale of troops in the battle front.
“I also wish to caution politicians and opinion leaders against inflammatory statements capable of causing discomfort. In the ongoing operation we have reached a stage whereby the cooperation of everybody is necessary in order to subdue the common enemy”, Dole said.