Our attention has been drawn to the sinister plot and siege on the Nigerian people by the Federal Government of Nigeria, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, through one of its agencies, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) who reportedly instructed all the telecommunication companies in the country to increase their DATA Services Tariff by 200%. This will make 1.5 Gig which is presently N1,000.00 to go for N3,000.00, this means an extra N2,000.00.
This is sheer insensitivity and callousness demonstrated by the Buhari administration who we believe created this economic crisis and hardships on purpose to arrogate ‘Absolute Powers’ to himself.
Since Buhari became the President, his policies has been wrecking the economy of the nation, Nigerians may not know that, Buhari is employing Poverty as a weapon of enslavement to enslave the people of Nigeria.
Recall that few days ago, one of his aides, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele proposed that the Government should begin to tax Nigerians who make phone calls above 3 minutes. In the same vein, Buhari’s cabinet, Minister of Information Mr. Lai Mohammed complained that Social Media has been the bane of their government, previously, Buhari had tried to suppress the Social Media via the Senate but the bill was thrown out after a widespread public rage.
Let It be known that if Buhari’s government is moving in the right directions, no one will criticize the Government on social media. If the Nigerian youths are provided with employments as they promised during their campaigns, they will not be bothered about criticizing the administration, and will focus on the strengths, achievements and accomplishments of the Government if there is any, but there is not one visible achievements of this Government to commend about.
We see all their public utterances as a reflection of the whimps and caprices of their master Buhari.
Adding insult to injury, NCC has instructed all Telecommunication companies to increase their data tariffs at the expense of the the Nigerian people, without taking into consideration all the economic hardships scourging the people, in the country.
The whole device, plot, purport, is to make it difficult for the citizens to be able to air out their opinions, thereby loose their voices which they can only do through the instrumentality of the social media to call government to account for any abuse of office or power.
The Government of President Buhari is taking every desperate steps and measures to suppress the voice of Nigerians.
We again ask, if the Government of Buhari encourages Telecommunication companies to increase their Tariffs on Data services, what is then the gain of the Privatization of the Telecommunications in the era of Chief Obasanjo which allowed for the competition and price fall for the benefit and the advantage of the Nigerian citizens.
Furthermore, the TELECOMS did not cry out to Buhari’s Government to say that they want a price or tarrif increment.
We also thought that the Government ought to be concerned with negotiating a fair and better deal for the benefit and the advantage of the citizens. However, Buhari and his cronies sees the Social media as a threat to his incompetent government. This has informed his decisions to instruct Telecoms to hike up their prices and tarrifs to frustrate millions of Nigerians away from the Internet and deny the people access to Social Media.
It is sad that President Buhari is not seeing the positive side of the criticisms against his administration, but rather, wants to clamp down on it at all costs. It is also sad that Nigeria is lagging behind in the ICT world where ICT companies are coming up with a more cheaper means of making internet easily accessible, portable and available to millions of people all over the world and to reach more people globally at near zero cost.
We call on the telecommunication companies to shun the directives of the Government because, the regulator (government) should not meddle with the pricing except where such is to the disadvantage of the people, and where citizens are being ripped off.
The excuse given by the government is unfounded, untenable, unscrupulous, as it carries no weight and not sensible to all that have critically looked at it. It is nothing other than a ploy to cut the people off from the internet because Buhari and his cronies feel threatened by the people’s agitations on social media.
If the TELECOMS agrees to go ahead with the instructions or directives, hoping that it will fetch the companies more money at the expense of the people, they will witness to the fact that millions of the people who patronize them are willing to stop buying their data and that is the only plan of Buhari’s Government.
We also call on Mr Godwin Emefiele to stop his unscrupulous idea of taxing Nigerians who make calls above 3 minutes. This is not a sensible idea, that after the caller buys call cards, pay VAT in the process, to still pay another TAX. This a callous idea devised to have the citizens thoughtlessly imperiled and worse than they already are.
Mr Lai Mohammed should advise the government to deliver on its promises. No one loves to criticise Government but, will prefer to commend the Government.
Democracy allows for free speech. Nigerians must at all time be able to express their wishes, desires, form opinion about the government, and hold government accountable where and when it is failing.
The attempt by the Government to gag or prevent them from doing so is an affront on the sensibilities of millions of Nigerians who democratically voted Buhari’s Government and it is an assault on our Demoncracy.
We call on Nigerians, leaders, responsible civil society groups, International bodies to wade into this matters now before BUHARI traps Nigerians in Nigeria making it hard to reach out to the world, as the Internet is the easiest way to reach out. If it is taken away from the people, what will be their means of calling out for democracy. The implementation of this instructions or directives will result in a full blown Militocracy by a tyrant.
Ag. Wailing Wailers
Headquarters, FCT Abuja.