George: Telecoms Operators Breaching National Security


Olawale Olaleye

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and aspiring national chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George has alerted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) about alleged brazen breach of national security by many of the telecoms operators in the country, a development he said the commission might not be aware of.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY and published in today’s edition, George said in the bid to minimise cost and maximise profit, some of the telecoms operators are now cutting corners with international calls, a situation he reckoned could make it difficult for the security agencies in the country to trace any such calls if made by terrorists.

According to him, “Now, if you initiate a call from abroad, I am saying this for the DG of NCC to investigate this, because it is the greatest shock to our national security. If you initiate a call from abroad, once it hits their terminal, either Glo, Etisalat or the rest, when it shows up on your phone it is a local number that shows.

“So, how do they trace the number? What are these people doing to our national security? It would never happen anywhere in the civilised world, more so with international terrorism. These people are flouting the laws of the land – financial crime and security issue – no nations will play around with its national security.”

Linking this to corruption as seen in some of the advertisements placed in CNN by some of the nation’s local banks and their unfounded relevance to the nation, George maintained that, “Like this one I told you about lack of national security on this issue of communication, people are wasting our money on CNN.

“ABSA Bank in South Africa, which is bigger than all our banks put together in terms of their capital base, how many times have you seen them on CNN advertising and burning the dollar that we are crying is not enough? Are they paying CNN naira? So, the issue of corruption, whether it is one-sided or not, let’s leave that till towards the election – we will come up – we are observing now.”

While noting that such issues would definitely come up in 2019, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be asked to tender its performance sheet in four years, George said, “Their scorecard, they must showcase and what they still intend to do. We have our manifesto. We have learnt our lesson. We have been there before and that is the beauty of democracy. Every four years, you go back to the people to renew your mandate. So, they decide whether they want you to continue or shove you aside.”