The Nigerian army has banned the use of motorcycles in remote areas of seven states in the north over the increasing activities of bandits and kidnappers in the region.
The states affected by the ban are Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi in the north-west and Niger state in the north-central.
Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said the military took the decision after it observed that the culprits use the motorcycles to perpetuate their crimes.
He said while the order will cause the people some inconvenience, “there is a need to use all means possible to stop the dastardly activities of these bandits across the north-western part of the country.”
He added that anyone caught using motorcycle in the listed areas will be taken for a bandit.
“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.
“This 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.
“The general public, particularly in the North-West and some parts of North-Central in Nigeria where Exercise Harbin Kunama is ongoing, are enjoined to bear with the army as concerted efforts are being made to combat the insecurity menace ongoing within the area.
“In this wise, it is hereby reiterated that the use of motorcycles remains banned within the forest areas in Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger states.
“Anyone caught using motorcycles within the named areas will be taken for an armed bandit, criminal and kidnapper with dire consequences.
“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.”
Many states in the region have recorded a surge in attacks by bandits and kidnappers.
Within a week, gunmen kidnapped the registrar of the Taraba state university, Jalingo and the permanent secretary in the state’s ministry of water resources.
The father-in-law to Mohammed Abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide-de-camp was also kidnapped on May 1.