Many state governors in Nigeria have devised new strategies to ensure that their sensitive conversations do not become public knowledge.
The action followed the alleged audio leak of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose’s telephone conversation, over the recent rerun election in Rivers State.
Investigations showed that some state executives had started using WhatsApp, Facebook, and Blackberry Messenger call options to engage in sensitive conversations.
It was also learnt that some of the governors have acquired modern technological equipment, which would alert them of their calls being monitored.
A governor in the South-South geopolitical zone revealed that the alleged leak of Wike’s telephone conversations on three occasions had forced him to take extra measures to avoid being a victim.
He said, “We have equipment that can detect when our calls are bugged or being recorded. We have decided to use them now.”
A close aide of a South-West governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his principal does not “speak anyhow” on the telephone.
According to him, the governor will come to his house anybody he wished to discuss sensitive issues.
He said, “My governor does not use Internet-enabled phone. He uses one of those old phones that leave no room for bugging.”
The aide said the governor’s office was protected with modern intelligence gadgets, noting that a bugging device would be easily detected.
Another governor in the South-West explained on condition of anonymity that he did not discuss sensitive issues on the telephone.
A governor in a North-Central state explained that he makes use of Internet, WhatsApp or Facebook calls whenever he wants to discuss sensitive or personal issues with any of his colleagues, family or friends.
He said, “Nobody can record my telephone conversations because I don’t use mobile phones to make sensitive calls.”
Another governor from the same geopolitical zone, who has been a public officer since 1992, said he had started taking extra caution since the audio leaks.
“The plain truth is that we are aware that buggers are on the prowl. All sensitive matters can’t be discussed on the phone anyhow again,” he said.