Mixed reactions are trailing the military lock-down of Mubi town in Adamawa during the Christmas celebrations, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa, which has experienced a series of attacks by Boko Haram, is under restriction of vehicular movement on Christmas Day until 12 noon, while commercial cyclist operations have been suspended until Wednesday for security reasons.
Some residents of the commercial border town on Monday said any step taken to protect lives was a welcome, while others said steps taken were too harsh on the public.
Danladi Chamber, a public commentator, said the development was a welcome one and that residents needed to show understanding and support the security measures.
“We appreciate the hardship caused by the security measure, but no sacrifice is too big for the security of our lives and properties,” Chamber said.
He cited the recent suicide bomb attack on worshipers at a mosque as an event that might have prompted the military to restrict movement.
Also commenting on the development, a commercial bus driver, Amos Baba, said the action was correct and should be supported by the public.
However, Sunday Wugira, a lawyer, said the measure was too harsh as it came across as more of a punishment than protecting the people.
“Many a times the people you are trying to protect, if you are not careful, you may end up hurting them; there is no basis for closing the town for three days in the name of security precaution.
“There should be a more proactive measure instead of this crude approach, ” Wugira said.
A commercial tricyclist (Keke-Napep), Musa Ibrahim, criticised the measure that banned his operations for three days, describing it as “too harsh”.
Ibrahim said the action did not only make them suffer loses in their business, but also created hardships for commuters who solely depended on the vehicles, being the major source of transportation in the town.
“Most people are forced to trek to visit friends, churches, markets and other places. While those of us that depend on this job to feed are left to count our loses.
“Our plea is that since private cars are allowed to move around from 12 noon, we should also be allowed to start our operations as a majority of the residents don’t own private cars, and need to move around as well,” Ibrahim said.
Similarly, some commuters who spoke on the development called for relaxation of the measure.
A commuter, Paul Zakari, pointed out that Maiduguri, with its frequent suicide attacks, never resorted to such restrictions.
Meanwhile, Adamawa Police Command said the Christmas celebration was going on smoothly across the state.
The Command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar, told NAN that so far there were no reports of security breachs.
Abubakar, reiterating the commitment of the police and other security agencies to ensure safe Christmas and New Year celebrations, urged the public to be more vigilant and security-conscious.