LAGOS – The Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Akintola, yesterday appealed to service providers to respect the fundamental human rights and privacy of subscribers by stopping unsolicited text messages.
Akintola said in a statement that the high volume of text messages sent by service providers was giving subscribers some great concern.
According to him, “If the service providers can afford to send so many text messages to all customers at no extra charges, to themselves, why do they charge subscribers so high for text messages?
“Strange and unsolicited text messages are sent to telephone users at odd times. Those that are most disturbing are received between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. when hardworking citizens are fast asleep.
“The messages wake them forcefully from sleep. Many find it hard to fall asleep hours after the unholy invasion of their privacy.
‘It is not only irritating but provocative. It is gross abuse of privilege on the part of the service providers.
“These unsolicited text messages are not limited to the nights and early morning hours alone. They also come during the day; some customers receive as many as 40 messages per day.
He called on the Consumer Protection Agency to wake up to its responsibilities by checkmating the service providers.
“We warn that from January 2015, unsolicited text messages should be drastically reduced and limited to the day-time.
He also called on the National Assembly to legislate adequately on this very important subject-matter.
Akintola said that unsolicited text messages affected the mental health of Nigerians.
“The havoc is mainly a health hazard but what could be more damaging to a nation than a threat to the health of its citizens?
“Experts agree that a sound sleep means the ability to think clearly, to plan and to design the next line of action in day-to-day endeavours. The reverse is the case when sleep is brutally cut.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that stress and fatigue are certain to occur when people are denied adequate rest.
“We suspect that the current rise in mental illnesses all over the country is partly informed by this flagrant disregard for people’s privacy and the rate at which the text messages have been disturbing Nigerians.