From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State government has again, renewed the ban on the movement of motorcycles between the hours of 8pm and 6am across the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this to newsmen at the end of a 2-hour emergency security meeting held at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Makurdi, the state capital on Wednesday.
He revealed that the state security council decided that operation of motorcycles, which is a major vehicle for criminals, bandit and terrorists, should be to regulated.
“First of all, we sustained the banning of motorcycle operators in Sankara axis of Benue state. The banning still subsists. Our security agencies have the renewed mandate of the security council to apprehend and arrest anyone that breaches the ban.
“In addition, we have decided that around the entire state, motorcycles should operate from 6am to 8pm. Any breach will be met with stiff penalties, offenders will be arrested and their motorcycles will be confiscated.”
The Governor revealed that the state government is also working on enacting a law that will not just arrest those who breach the law, but also confiscate their motorcycle and also destroy it.
The Governor who expressed worry over the security situation across the country, maintained that, “because of what is happening in our country today, what is happening in Abuja, Taraba and Plateau States and of course, the security alarm raised by Nasarawa State which is our next door neighbour, we are worried and have come out with far reaching proactive measures that will help us nip it in the bud.”
He encouraged the people of the state to be security conscious, stressing that, “this is not a time to sleep with your two eyes closed. Shine your eyes, open your eyes and ensure that if there are suspicious movements, actions or faces that you see, alert the security agencies, alert the government to enable us nip it in the bud and not allow it to escalate.”
He added that big vehicles covered with tampoline coming into urban areas especially the state capital must be apprehended and checked by relevant security agencies before they are allowed to go.
“Those vehicles when they come, they must be apprehended at various check points and if it is late, they will wait until it is daybreak when the security will do the needful before releasing them if there are no complicated issues from the vehicles.”
He directed council Chairmen support the security agencies to ensure that the directive is enforced to the letter positing that, “It is for your own benefit and the benefit of the entire state and our own people.”
The Governor further disclosed that the State Community Volunteer Guards would be launched on Thursday while the security outfit would also be equipped with necessary kits and legal weapons to support what the security agencies are already doing in the state.