The Nigerian Army has banned the use of motorcycles within the hinterland and forests in the north-western states of the country, due to the increased rate of kidnapping and banditry.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, the affected states are Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger.
While giving the reason for the ban, Musa noted that “armed bandits, criminals and kidnappers hibernate and all around where troops are conducting operations alongside other security agencies.”
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.”
While appealing for the cooperation of the general public, Musa said the directive will stop the dastardly activities of these bandits from operating across the affected region.
He also reiterated the military’s commitment in securing lives and properties of the citizenry, calling on 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.”
“The army has over time observed the use of motorcycles by bandits, kidnappers, criminal elements and their collaborators as enablers to perpetrate their crimes, especially in the states within the North-West region.
“This informed the directive to ban the use of motorcycles within the hinterland, particularly around the forests where the 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 need no emphasis.
He added, “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.”
The development follows ongoing military operations in the affected states codenamed Exercise Harbin Kunama aimed at combating security challenges in the area.