Army Bans Use Of Okada In North-West Over Insecurity

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Spiralling insecurity in parts of the country yesterday forced the Nigerian Army to ban the use of motorcycles, popularly called Okada, in the seven North-Western states.

 

The Army said the move was to curtail rising incidences of banditry in the area and parts of the North-Central, asking law abiding citizens to bear the pains as a temporary sacrifice.

 

The ban was imposed inspite of a meeting of the nation’s security agencies over the weekend in Kebbi state to design new ways of tackling deadly attacks of bandits and herdsmen across the country.

 

Just yesterday, suspected armed men invaded a Military formation located in the outskirts of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State, in a deadly attack.

 

During the attack, it was learnt that soldiers suffered reasonable level of casualties, forcing residents of Magumeri to flee into the bush for safety.

 

A resident who lives close to the palace of the District Head, Abur Zanna said “the Boko haram terrorists entered the town at exactly 5:40 pm in a large convoy of trucks and motorcycles”.

 

Another source said a staff of the LGA who accompanied officials that visited the town to assess the situation, Bakaka Modu confirmed the attack.

 

In a related development, unknown gunmen reportedly have abducted the Permanent Secretary of the Taraba State Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Susana Jonathan.

 

Mrs. Jonathan was said to have been kidnapped in her house around ATC area of Jalingo at about 2:17am on Sunday according to local residents.

 

The incident occurred barely five days after the Deputy Registrar of the Taraba State University Jalingo, Mr. Sanusi Sa’ad, was kidnapped at the university’s staff quarters, a few meters away from the house of the abducted Permanent Secretary.

 

Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP David Misal, confirmed the development, adding that “from the intelligence report we have received, the woman is nowhere to be found ” .

 

In Borno State, members of the Boko Haram members have kidnapped a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Abraham Amuta, and a cleric with the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel), identified as Pastor Oyeleke.

 

Friends of the Corps Member said on Twitter that they were abducted two weeks ago on their way to Chibok to distribute relief items to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

 

A friend who goes by the name Success Ezeanya, wrote, “Abraham Amuta, a corps member serving in Maiduguri was abducted by Boko Haram two weeks ago.

 

“He is a Batch B, stream 1 corps member serving in Maiduguri, Borno State. It’s been over two weeks now since he went missing. Some people claiming to be Boko Haram members have claimed to have abducted him. Please re – tweet until the Federal Government sees this.”

 

Due to the volatile nature of Borno State, corps members are usually given the option to redeploy. Last November alone, a total of 818 out of 1,118 corps members of the Batch C redeployed.

 

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State had pleaded with corps members deployed in the state not to seek redeployment, assuring them of his government’s commitment to their welfare and security.

 

However, there is no information that the state government has intervened to rescue the abducted corps member.

 

Also, parents and guardian of students of the Government Girls Comprehensive Secondary School, Moriki (GGCSS) in Zamfara State, have started withdrawing their daughters from the school.

 

This followed an attack on the school by some unknown gunmen suspected to be insurgents during which seven of the staffers of the

college were abducted and taken to a destination that is yet to be known.

 

Investigation by our reporters have revealed that as a result of the tragedy which happened about four days ago, many parents became skeptical and decided to withdraw their children for fear of losing their beloved ones.

 

The investigation also showed that the students of the college have become terrified to the extent that they could no longer sleep with their two eyes closed since the incident happened.

 

Although the school took an immediate measure to douse the tension by employing the services of security operatives and members of the JTF, yet a number of parents are not convinced with the measures describing it as “hopeless”.

 

One of them, Alhaji Saidu Ibrahim, a trader, based in Zurmi Local Government where the school is situated, told our reporters that he has not been himself since that fateful day as he became sleepless

only thinking of what would happen to his daughter.

 

Following series of attacks by bandits and hersmen, the Nigerian Army Sunday said it has banned the use of motorcycles (okada) in 7 states of the North-West where it is currently operating special security activity code named “Exercise Harbin Kunama 111”.

 

A statement titled ‘Enforcement of Ban on the Use of Motorcycles in Ex-Harbin Kunama Area of Responsibility’, signed by Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, contained the directive.

 

He said: “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.

 

“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.

 

“While this may cause some inconveniences to some law abiding citizens in the area, the need to use all means possible to stop the dastardly activities of these bandits across the North-West part of Nigeria needs no emphasis.

 

“The general public, particularly in the North-West and some parts of North-Central in Nigeria where Ex Harbin Kunama is on-going, are enjoined to bear with the NA 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 remain 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”.

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