The Nigerian Senate has asked the Federal Government to suspend 5G roll out in Nigeria until further notice.
Senator Uche Ekwunife had moved the motion to check the status of the 5G network in the country. Upon deliberation on Tuesday, the upper legislative chamber made the decision to halt every 5G related business in Nigeria until its safety status is ascertained.
She said the motion has become needful as fear about 5G is growing and Nigerians need to be sure that it is safe before it could be deployed. So there should be thorough investigation to determine if it should be approved or not.
Other members of the senate who supported the motion said there is a need for the government to act in the interest of the people by checking the status of 5G.
Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said the deployment of the 5G network has been a controversial issue that experts need to be allowed to interrogate the merits and demerits of its deployment.
Another senator, Opeyemi Bamidele said it would not be responsible for the government to subscribe to a technology that would bring harm to the people, adding that no Federal Government agency has done any scientific research on the 5G to ascertain its safety status. He noted that European countries are already conducting investigations on the implications of the fifth generation technology and Nigeria shouldn’t be left out.
At the end of the deliberation, the senate asked its committee on Communication, Science, Technology and ICT, and that of Health to commence a thorough investigation into the status of 5G in the country. The upper chamber also asked the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to suspend the 5G roll out until its health and environmental status is determined. The Senate Committee is to submit their report in four weeks.
The controversy surrounding 5G roll out in Nigeria has been instigated by the conspiracy theory that it births coronavirus. In the past two months, it was a huge debate around the world that in the UK, 5G masts were attacked and destroyed. Nigeria caught the wind and pushed the rumor to the streets.
Former Senator Dino Melaye was among those at the forefront of it, posting videos and tweets condemning the technology. He said the Nigerian government should not allow it because it’s evil.
“Whether it is true or not that they are already laying cables of 5G in Nigeria. Government must not allow it in Nigeria and should take a proactive step in that regard,” Melaye said.
Among others, the head pastor and founder of Christ Embassy Church, Chris Oyakhilome took the side of those who opposed the deployment of 5G. He said that the technology is responsible for coronavirus, urging governments around the world to stop the roll out. Though he later made a turn around, claiming it only has health implications, his message has been caught across the board by many.
“Why is this 5G installation guy wearing a protective suit against radiation if 5G is supposed to just give us fast internet access”? Someone asked on Twitter. “4G=2.4GHz 5G= 60GHz. Why don’t they put normal cell towers near old people’s homes? Pastor Chris has a point.”
The divided opinion created by the conspiracy theory has affected how some governments see the technology. While some are only concerned about the political and security risks if Huawei is allowed to lead the deployment, others are halting the whole idea due to fear that it bears health consequences.
While experts in China, the UK and the US have repeatedly discredited the theory, it appears that it could only stop people from destroying the masts. Though many countries have continued to deploy the 5G, others like Nigeria said that its negative health implications cannot be ignored based on scientific conclusions of other countries.
The Nigerian Senate was instigated to adopt the motion to suspend the 5G deployment by mongers of the “5G = coronaviru” conspiracy theory. A development many have found difficult to fathom knowing that 5G is electromagnetic radiation without the capability to produce microorganism – it automatically discredits the theory and many think Nigeria deserves better than the senate who spend time deliberating on that.
“How on earth do we want to command respect from others when intellectual malnutrition prevails in top levels of governance like this”? Osidipe Adekunle asked on Twitter. “This is too low.”
Many others share the same opinion that the Senate’s decision to suspend the 5G rollout is an act of ignorance that shouldn’t be displayed in the 21st century. Former senator Shehu Sani said there is no scientific basis to back up claims that it may pose health threats and the Senate needs not to stop its deployment.
“The 5G stoppage order by the Senate is needless. The nation’s political elites are simply drawn into global political chess game by giant tech companies backed by their governments. Linking 5G to health concerns is political & economics but lacks any scientific basis,” he said.