From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
House of Representatives has said 44 reports were given by the Department of State Services (DSS) before the attack on Kuje Custodial Centre by terrorists on July 5.
Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, stated this at yesterday’s plenary, while commenting on a motion by Abubakar Yallemen, urging the House to halt the proposed plan by the Federal Government to ban the use of motorcycles in the country.
Wase, who presided over Tuesday’s plenary, urged the sponsor of the motion to step it down, noting that the House needed to support the executive arm of government in tackling the security challenges in the country.
Yallemen was still reading his motion when the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, moved to confer with the deputy speaker. When the former finished reading his motion, Wase invited him to approach the chair.
Yallemen, in his motion, had contended that though the proposed ban on the use of motorcycles nationwide is intended to cut the “supply of logistics to the terrorists in the country as disclosed by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,” recently.
According to him, the proposed ban on motorcycle operations will render millions of Nigerians jobless, which could be catastrophic for a nation grappling with high unemployment and poverty rates.
“The ban will inflict untold hardships on the generality of Nigerians as it is a common means of transportation among the citizenry, and may provide the terrorists with a pool of desperate youths to recruit. Putting a sizeable number of the population out of work will only aggravate the security challenges in the country,” he said.
Consequently, the lawmaker prayed the House to urge the Federal Government to restrict the proposed ban to the local government areas where the mining activities or banditry/terrorist activities take place.
Nevertheless, the deputy speaker, after his tete-a-tete with Yallemen, noted that while he appreciates that motorcycles popularly called Okada is the only means of transportation in most communities across the country, intelligence on most of the attacks by gunmen across the country cannot be discountenanced.
“We appreciate what our brother (Yalleman) has brought and our appeal to the government is that as they implement this policy, if they are going to implement it at all, they should look at those areas that are not vulnerable and do not have the potency of any insurgency in their community to allow them.
“Most of us, 90 per cent of my community, if not 99 per cent, this is the only means of transportation. So, we appreciate his motion. The sensitivity. But in line with our principle to help in curbing insecurity in our country, we have to cooperate with the government.
“You cannot imagine what is happening today in Abuja. I will be frank with you. I went through DSS reports, 44 reports were given before the attack of Kuje. I want to confirm to you, 44. I read all the reports. And it all has to do with this. There is no community that one attack or the other will happen that you don’t have an Intel. And this is part of the Intel.
“So, we have to cooperate with government. Thank you very much. I have to beg my colleague that we step down the motion,” he said.
After the deputy speaker’s intervention, Yallemen stepped down the motion.