Nigeria Army has imposed an indefinite ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle, known as ‘Okada’ in seven states of the federation.
Spokesman of the army Sagir Musa, who made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday, said the ban was meant to curb activities of armed bandits and other groups responsible for the insecurity crisis in some parts of the country.
“The Nigerian Army (NA) over time has observed the use of motorcycles by armed bandits, kidnappers, criminal elements and their collaborators as enablers to perpetrate their heinous crimes especially in the states within the north west geopolitical zone of the country,” Musa said in a statement.
“In this wise, it is hereby reiterated that the use of motorcycles remain banned within the forest areas in Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger States.”
The army spokesman warned that “Anyone caught using motorcycles within the named areas will be taken for an armed bandit, criminal and kidnapper with dire consequences.”
He explained that the unrepentant acts of the sects “informed the decision and directive to ban the use of motorcycles within the hinterland particularly around the Forests where the armed bandits, criminals and kidnappers hibernate and all around where troops are conducting operations alongside other security agencies.”
While the ban may cause some inconveniences to some law-abiding citizens in the seven states, the army spokesman noted that it was necessary to explore all means possible to stop the activities of these bandits across the northwestern part of Nigeria.
Sagir, however, called on the general public, particularly in the North West and some parts of North Central in Nigeria where operation Ex Harbin Kunama is ongoing, to bear with the Nigeria Army in its efforts to combat the insecurit ongoing in the states.
“The respective State Governments are enjoined to please disseminate the ban on the use of motorcycles in the named areas and enforce the ban in conjunction with the Security Agencies,” Musa said.