Minna — Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Tuesday announced a ban on commercial motorcycles in the state, towing the line of the Kano State Government.
In announcing the ban, Aliyu said the influx of commercial motorcyclists through the Sarkin Pawa axis posed a security threat to the state.
"Everyday, more than 40 okadas come into the state through Sarkin Pawer, they are the kind of people we don't want, they just move into the community without attachment with the people or community so at the slightest opportunity or crisis, they begin to kill, burn properties and slaughter people because they have no relationship with the society.
"Peace and security is not only about bomb blasts, it has to do with monitoring the influx of who comes where and what they do and that is why we are beginning the use of commercial motorcycles and introducing the tricycles so that we will know who rides them and where they are from," he said.
Aliyu, who announced the ban at the inauguration of 1,000 tricycles and 14 mass transit buses, stated that the commercial motorcycle operators have three weeks to leave the streets of Minna as tricycles have been approved and made available by the state government to ply the roads.
The governor added that the ban of commercial motorcycles was not a policy by the state government to increase the suffering of the people adding that the administration's concern for the people in the areas of security and lives as regards the number of accidents and deaths caused by motorcycle accidents has led to the ban.
"Our decision to ban commercial motorcyclists in the state should not be misunderstood as a means of stopping people from getting their source of livelihood but be seen as a way to avoid deaths and maiming of precious lives as a result of bike accidents," he said.
He said the government purchased the tricycles at N624,000 each, adding that it would be given to the people at subsidised rate of N400,000 so that it will be within the reach of the people.
The governor further added that payment for the tricycle would be spread over a period of 18 months, stressing that defaulters would be punished accordingly.
14 new buses were also procured alongside the tricycles to ease transportation within and outside the metropolitan city of Minna as Aliyu stated that effective traffic management system have been put in place to ensure good use of the vehicles.
The governor pledged that his administration will continue to deliver dividends of democracy to the people within the period the regime has left.
In his address earlier, Niger state Commissioner for Transport, Alhaji Garba Abdullahi, said government's gesture was part of measures aimed at reducing unemployment, especially among the youths.