8 January 2013

Nigeria: Taskforce Impounds 117 Motorcycles in FCT Within a Week

The task force set up to stop commercial motorcycling within the FCT said it has confiscated about 117 motorcycles within the last week.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday as the task force took the fight to the Mr Biggs Junction within the Lugbe Federal Housing Estate where several motorcycles were impounded with both sides alleging use of violence against each other.

According to the secretary of the motorcyclists' union, Aliyu Abdullahi, the task force comprising armed soldiers, Civil Defence and men of Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Abuja went in to the Federal housing and started beating all the motorcyclists they found near the Mr Biggs junction within the Federal Housing contrary to a prior agreement reached with the motorcyclists.

He said his union doesn't have business with a motorcyclist who goes near the highway, but he cannot understand why their motorcycles will be confiscated within the Federal Housing Estate, an area within which they are allowed to practice their trade.

Abdulrazak Ibrahim, another motorcyclist described the exercise as an abuse of power meant to deny them their means of livelihood.

But the position in the Directorate of Road Traffic Services in Mabushi is different as officials say they doing the right thing.

Mr KK Inabigo Junior of the Directorate's public enlightenment unit said the team that visited Lugbe was an adhoc team raised by the minister of the Federal Capital Territory to enforce the ban of commercial motorcycling within the city adding that the taskforce will work for two months.

Mr Inabigo Junior, who said the team had confiscated about 117 motorcycles within the last week, said it is the motorcyclists that are targeting their staff just because they are doing their jobs.

He said the business is very lucrative that is why they find it difficult to enforce the ban in the designated areas within the city explaining that the graduates among them and all others that are law-abiding are left to do their business.

The head of the task force, Mukhtar Muhammed, said the windshield of one of his patrol vehicles was smashed by a stone thrown by the motorcyclists adding that the directorates' staff are being constantly threatened by the motorcyclists.

He also claimed it was the motorcyclists that breached the agreement about where they should not cross.

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