Gov Rabiu Kwankwaso
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, at the weekend explained why the state government banned commercial motorcyclists in the state, saying his administration had no other option than to take the decision.
"The security agencies had been advising government on the issues of safeguarding the lives and property of the people. We considered such advice given the fact that protecting the lives of our people is important to us. It is a weighty decision we had to take," the governor said.
Speaking at a meeting in Government House, Kwankwaso said the decision was taken after due consultation with the security agencies in view of the rising security challenges the state found itself.
The governor, however, said statistics at the emergency units of hospitals in the state showed that most of their patients are either the commercial motorcyclists or their passengers.
According to him, at the Murtala Muhammed Hospital, a total of 8,428 cases of male accident victims relating to motorcycles were recorded from January to December 2012.
He revealed that within the same period, 2,367 female sustained injuries through motorcycle-related accidents.
"That aside, a total of 2,018 people lost their lives last year through motorcycle accidents in just one hospital. So government has a responsibility to protect the lives of the people. Despite the fact that we don't want to prevent people from doing the business, but one has to live to ride the motorcycles," he explained."
Explaining further, the governor said between March and June 2012, a total number of 45 people were killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen, and in January this year alone, a conservative estimate put the death toll of killings by bike-gunmen at 21.
While appreciating the level of compliance to the order, which he described as appreciable, the governor urged people to register their motorcycles and also make other required documentation in their respective local governments.
"I urge people to go and register their motorcycles in their local governments; be law-abiding citizens and respect traffic rules. Watch out for traffic signs and cooperate with road marshals so that sanity can be ensured in the traffic system," Kwankwaso said.
He also called on the people to pray for peace and development in the state.