A group saddled with advocacy for Advancement, Development and sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria, Wailing Wailers, has, Tuesday, asked the Federal Government, the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, and Telecommunication companies to abort the planned increment of tariff on data services in the country.
In a statement signed by its Ag, Usman Abubakar, it warned that such planned action would lead to rape of democracy and freedom of speech.
“Our attention has been drawn to the sinister siege on the Nigerian people and plot against their interest by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This plot, led by President Muhammadu Buhari is being executed by one of the government’s agencies, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) who reportedly, has directed all the telecommunication companies in the country to increase their DATA Services Tariff by 200%.
"If this is allowed to work, 1.5 Gig which presently costs N1,000.00, will then go for N3,000.00, meaning an extra N2,000.00.
“This is sheer insensitivity and callousness being demonstrated by the Buhari administration, the same government, we believe, purposely created this economic crisis and hardships in order 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 weaponising poverty to enslave the people, and render them powerless to demand accountability from him.”
“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; they will rather focus on the strengths, achievements and accomplishments of the Government if there is any.”
“But, there is not one visible achievements of this Government, on which they should be commended. We see all their public utterances as a reflection of the whims and caprices of their master Buhari who seems bent on driving Nigeria aground.”
“Adding insult to injury, NCC has instructed all Telecommunication companies to increase their data tariffs at the expense of the currently suffering Nigerian people. This is without considering 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 say out their opinions, thereby lose 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? Privitation is to allow competition to regulate prices, and it should bring prices down 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 tariff 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 see the Social media as a threat to his incompetent government. This has informed his decisions to instruct Telecoms to hike up their prices and tariffs 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 critics 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 Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives to stop the government from this dastardly act against the people. One wonders, why any reasonable government would want to fix price for private companies against the interest of its citizens. Regulator (in this case the government) should not meddle with private companies pricing, except where such companies operates a price regime that is disadvantageous to the, and that also rips people 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.”
“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 at all. That after the caller buys call cards, pay VAT in the process, to still pay another TAX. This is 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. Everyone knows what is good and would prefer to commend whenever this Government shows one.”
“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 matter now before Buhari traps Nigerians in Nigeria, making it hard to for them to participate in the global progress as made possible through the internet.”
“If this is allowed to happen, the world would have suffered a set back as Buhari takes democracy in Nigeria to the grave. The implementation of this instructions or directives will result in a full blown Militocracy by a tyrant.”
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