Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has extended a ban on the use of motorcycles, popularly called okada, for commercial or personal purposes.
The ban was first announced alongside a list of other measures in September 2021 as part of a new strategy to fight banditry in the state.
The ban was initially announced to last till December 2021, but Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, that it ‘remains in place until further notice.
Other containment measures the commissioner said will continue to be in effect include the ban on wielding dangerous weapons, and the restriction of the movement of tricycles between 7 pm and 6 am in seven local government areas.
“The Kaduna State Government continues to empathize with citizens over difficulties which these measures may engender, and implores all residents to comply fully with these measures in the wider interest of general security,” Aruwan said.
Kaduna is one of the worst affected by banditry and violent attacks in the northern region, with 1,825 people killed and 4,525 kidnapped between January 2020 and September 2021, according to the government’s own records.
Governor El-Rufai said days ago the most effective way for Nigeria to end the war against bandits is to ‘carpet-bomb’ forests that have become their hiding places.
“There will be collateral damage, but it’s better to wipe them out and bring peace back to our communities so that agriculture and rural economies can pick up,” he said.
The northwest region has especially become a killing field over the past few years with armed gangs wreaking havoc on mostly rural communities, killing thousands and abducting more for ransom.
The Federal Government’s military campaigns against the criminals have had isolated periods of success, but largely failed to put a definitive end to their reign of terror.