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ATCON seeks govt succour for post-election violence victims

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

Following the post election violence that enveloped some states in the Northern Nigeria last week, in which ICT and communication centres were destroyed by hoodlums, the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON has called on the federal government to come to the aid of the foundation.

President of the association, Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, who made the call described the destruction as unfortunate and colossal waste of infrastructure in the country and also drew the attention of members of their association and other players in ICT industry to the situation and requested support for the foundation.

Fantsuam Foundation is a voluntary service community organization which has over the last few years perfected the use of ICT enablement to provide community service to an underserved community in a farm yard located in the outskirts of Kafanchan.

At the facility, there is a Community Communications Centre, supported with funding from the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, leading a drive for microfinance, rural health, and other micro schemes to serve the immediate rural and poor community.

According to Omo-Ettu, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, The Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, have mandates to sustain the burning need to study the operations of the organization, which is critical to planning to achieve the bigger picture.

“We invite public attention to a report which came from Kafanchan, a town in southern Kaduna State in north-central Nigeria, where the recent opprobrium of post-election violence led to the overrun of the facilities of a Community Communication Service Centre.

It was the Foundation’s operation that served as research material for a joint effort of our Association and the Nigerian ICT Forum of partnership institutions to drive the initiation of a Broadband for Nigeria roadmap document, to which all segments of the Nigerian Community was invited in July 2010 to endorse as a working document that a willing Nigerian Government may use to execute an access for all agenda,” said Omo-Ettu.

Report has it that with the General Hospital in Kafanchan shut down as a result of the recent post_election violence, the hoodlums , who apparently saw Fantsuam Foundation as a government institution descended on the facility to request succor and the Foundation responded.

Meanwhile, founder of the foundation , Dr. John Dada, said the facility was understandably overrun and resulting to collapse in infrastructure and worsening of human crisis.

“The destruction of the Kafanchan market, closure of banks for over one week, have all contributed to the worsening humanitarian crisis: there is serious shortage of cash and food,” said Dada.

While emphasizing the need for immediate assistance to Fatsuan Foundation, Omo-Ettu described Dr. Dada as an accomplished IT practitioner, with experiences in rural communication management.

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