By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano State Government yesterday banned commercial motorcyclists from the Kano metropolis.
Addressing journalists at his office, the Managing Director of the state Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) the retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Mohammad Hadi Zarewa, revealed that the reintroduction of the restriction was part of security measures against the resurgence of Boko Haram in the state.
The retired AIG hinted that the agency was recently acquitted on intelligence plan by the dreaded insurgence to regroup in some northern states including Kano with the intent of wreaking havoc.
He disclosed that the agency also reactivate the mobile court to prosecute anybody found conveying passengers whether for commercial or private purpose, in accordance with the laws, adding that culprits would be sentenced to six months imprisonment or N10,000 fine or both.
â€œInformation reaching us clearly indicated that Kano is now a soft target for the Boko Haram insurgents and we have no choice than to deploy all necessary measures to ensure security of lives and property in our state. Due to the military bombardment in the North-east,Â information at our disposal revealed that the group are now looking for other location especially Kano to perpetrate their devilish act.â€
He reminded that the laws restricting passengers on motorbikes in Kano was enacted since February 7, 2013, insisted that the laws was only relaxed to make life bearable sequel to relative peace enjoyed in the state in the last few years.
â€œIf you recall the laws restricting passenger on motorbikes was enactment in Kano since 2013 during the immediate past governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso after investigation revealed that most attacks being carried out by the Boko Haram were through motorbikes. So, part of the security strategy was the ban of passengers on motorcycles.
â€œUnlike some state that restricted movement of motorcycle entirely, we did not but we stop people from carrying passengers with for commercial or private purpose. Again the government has deep it fit to reactivate the enforcement of the law.â€
The former AIG maintained that the operations which were being jointly executed in collaboration with other agencies had so far prosecuted 607 offenders in the last seven days since the enforcement began, saying no stone would be left unturned to sanitise the system.
On the notion that the fine was deliberately meant to drive revenue into government coffers, the managing director said the intent was purely based on security.