22 January 2013

Nigeria: Kano Bans Motorcyclists From Carrying Passengers

Photo: Leadership
An Okada rider.

Kano — The Kano state government has suspended both commercial and private motorcyclists from carrying passengers within Kano and environs as from Thursday, until they register their bikes with the authorities.

The ban came on the heels of the attack by gunmen on the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero, which led to the death of at least six persons and left many others wounded including the monarch's two sons last Saturday.

A statement issued by the Acting Governor of the state Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Tuesday said the decision was taken after studying recommendations given by security agents.

"After a meeting with security agencies and a careful study of their reports, We noticed that it has become necessary to suspend motorcycle riders from carrying passengers as from Thursday, 24, January, 2013," Dr. Ganduje said.

"Motorcyclists are required to register their bikes in order to ensure safety of their own lives and those of public members. We urge the bikers to go back to their respective local government to register for their own benefit and that of others.

He thanked members of the public for their cooperation and urged them to pray for the return of peace to the state.

According to an official source, the decision to proscribe commercial motorcycles in the state was based on an observation that almost all the violence that were carried out in the state were executed on motorcycles.

Also the killing of two lawmakers in the state house of assembly by gunmen riding bikes in November and December last year, had recently resuscitated debates among members of the public on whether motorcycles should be allowed to operate or not.

A security source said a string of meetings involving both government officials and security agencies were held in the wake of the killings to discuss the possibility of banning motorcycles, but still it was agreed that the bikers should be regulated because of security implications of a blanket ban.

But after the attack on Bayero, which shocked residents of Kano state and crippled commercial activities for two days, the government, a source said, resolved to ban the use of bikes once and for all as a measure to checkmate further attacks.

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