The federal government has decried the way and manner Nigerians, especially women, are being treated in their bid to comply with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directive on the registration of the subscriber identification module (SIM) in use, threatening to deal with erring telecom companies henceforth.
A statement by the special assistant on media to the minister of communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, Mr Victor Oluwadamilar, said that this has become necessary, following the barrage of compliants by telecoms subscribers across the country.
According to him, “The minister’s office had been inundated with complaints from Nigerians, particularly women in veil, over the way they were being treated, sometimes humiliated, by the workers of telecommunications companies nationwide.
“In some of the complaints, women in pudah were required to remove their veils in public despite requests by such women that a place should be provided for them away from public glare and for only female officials to attend to them. All entreaties by these women failed, rather they were allegedly accused of being Boko Haram agents and refused registration after several altercations ensued in some of the registration centres.”
The minister, who frowned at the development, urged the telecommunications companies involved to accord maximum respect to Nigerian, particularly women, by respecting their feminine nature and religious disposition, moreso since the Nigerian Constitution has guaranteed the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion of all citizens and that such right should never be violated by executive or administrative lawlessness, high handedness, and insensitivity.
He noted that Nigerians deserve unreserved apologies from the concerned telecoms companies, saying that it is inhuman and unacceptable to treat Nigerians in such a cruel manner as it is a universal maxim that the right of even minorities are respected worldwide. He, therefore, urged the telecommunications companies to train and retrain their workers on the right and more civilized ways of treating their customers, adding that sanction may be applied against any erring company that refuse to comply with the policy of the Nigerian government under the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.