22nd January, 2015
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has shut down the 35350 SMS platform for raising fund for the General Muhammed Buhari presidential campaign.
The platform was one of the five launched in Lagos on Tuesday, but the Director, Buhari-Osinbajo Fund Raising Campaign and Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola told a news conference on Thursday at the State House, Marina, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, that President Goodluck Jonathan has become so desperate that he is using the NCC to haunt the opposition party.
With the 35350 platform, Nigerians willing to donate to Buhari’s campaign simply had to send APC to the 35350 to contribute N100 to the campaign either using MTN, Glo, Etisalat, Airtel and Visaphone.
According to Fashola, the NCC shut down the platform on Wednesday afternoon after it wrote to the telecom operators not to carry such messages.
“The NCC has shut down the 35350 platform for sending N100 message to the Buhari fund raising campaign yesterday afternoon. Before it was shut down, 5400 people had contributed N100 to the Buhari campaign fund using the platform,” he said.
Fashola added that since Wednesday, he had been receiving messages from people wanting to contribute that they could not get through to the line because NCC had shut it down.
He said in 2010, the same platform was granted by the NCC to raise fund for the Jonathan-Sambo campaign, while appealing to the president to direct NCC to restore the platform as the people’s freedom was being gagged.
The governor restated that it entered into business relationship with the telecom operators and was never a political issue to make them partisan.
Fashola lamented that in recent time, Jonathan had become so desperate and intolerant that he oppressed the opposition in a bid to hold on to power at all costs.
He said he never expected to witness such brazen lawlessness and repression of the people’s freedom to express themselves all in the quest to cling to power at all costs.
“Why should a commercial transaction be frustrated because of one man’s desire to serve and why should they be shutting down generational platform?” he asked.
Fashola said the Federal Government had earlier shut down the APC’s website which made the party to launch another platform which is still being haunted by the presidency.
The governor said the APC would explore all legal means to fight for its interest but lamented that the courts had been shut down for long, thus, preventing the party from using it to seek reddress.