By Uche Amunike
A lecturer in the Political Science Department of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr Usman Lukeman has decried the negative impact that the ban on motorcycles and restrictions of tricycles by the Kaduna state government will have on the people of Kaduna state.
Recall that on September 24, 2021 the Kaduna state government made an announcement on the ban of motorcycles as a measure to fight the menace of banditry. This announcement included the restriction of tricycles from certain areas in the state.
In a recent interview, Tuesday in Kaduna, however, Dr Lukeman disagreed with the idea that the ban on motorcycles and restrictions of tricycles in the state would reduce banditry.
He strongly believes that the ban on motorcycles, instead of impacting negatively on the bandits terrorizing residents of the State would end up impacting negatively on the people.
He explained that the ban will only end up creating more hardship, more criminal elements and bring about unbearable pains in the lives of the residents of the state.
He added that since the government announced the ban of motorcycles in the past three weeks, many residents have suffered more because there are some who cannot walk 2 kilometres without using motorcycles or tricycles. He also talked about businesses that depend on those vehicles to thrive. However, since the ban on motorcycles and restrictions on tricycles, the bandits have continued to kidnap people and hardship has turned out worse for the people of Kaduna state.
His words: ‘Just, yesterday night, bandits Kidnapped students of a Catholic school in Jema’a LGA. Three days ago, they stormed Goni Gora. There is hardly a day that passes without the incident of kidnapping. Most kidnappers have changed the modus operandi of their kidnapping due to the government announcement.’
He stressed that markets are closed because the bandits usually buy from those bush markets but added, that the bandits now demand cooked food from parents of their abductors.
He mentioned the seizure of network by network operators in some areas prone to banditry but added that the kidnappers have also changed their strategies of communication and advised that since bandits do not operate without informants, it was in the best interest of the state that the government will try to identify the informants and deal with them accordingly.
He believes that the government should increase the security manpower in the state, hold constant meetings with local rulers who feel the pulse of the people better and make it compulsory for every local chief to monitor their subjects closely in order to identify the bad eggs among them.
He specifically appealed to the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam El-Rufai, to reassess the restrictions and ban, so that residents in the state will be able to feed their families and take care of their loved ones, considering that most of them depend on these motorcycles and tricycles as a source of daily income for their families.