From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As one of the critical measures to tackle the nefarious activities of fleeing bandits in parts of the state, the Kaduna State Government on Wednesday officially announced the shutdown of telecommunications services in undisclosed locations.
This development may not be unconnected to the security information that fleeing bandits from Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states where telecommunications services have been shut, are now coming to Kaduna state to make phone calls.
Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, who stated this in a press briefing at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Kaduna added that all motorcycles (commercial and private) have also been banned for the next three months – all with effect from midnight Thursday, September 30.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had on a radio chart Tuesday night announced that the state government has formally requested the Federal Government to enforce the shutdown of telecom services in parts of the state identified by security agencies as requiring such measures.
In response to that request, the relevant federal agencies had on Wednesday informed the Kaduna State Government that the processes for telecoms shutdown in parts of the state have commenced, Aruwan said.
According to Aruwan, “as part of the steps to address the current security situation in Kaduna and neighbouring states in the North-West and North-Central regions, KDSG has held several meetings with security agencies to adopt critical measures towards crushing bandits in their identified hideouts.”
Some of the measures he talked about in addition to existing ones include “the complete ban on the use of motorcycles (Okada), for commercial or personal purposes, for three months in the first instance.
“Ban on possession of or wielding of dangerous weapons. Tricycles are allowed to operate only from 6am7 pm 7 pm. All tricycles must remove all curtains. The movement of all tricycles is restricted from dusk till dawn (7PM6 AM 6 AM).
“All vehicles used for commercial transport must be painted in yellow and black within 30 days. Vehicles that are offering hiring services are to carry yellow and black stripes.
“Ban on the sale of petrol in jerry-cans or other containers in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kachia, Kagarko and Kajuru LGAs.
“Ban on felling of trees and forestry activities in Birnin Gwari, Giwa Igabi, Chikun, Kachia, Kagarko and Kajuru LGAs. Ban on firewood and charcoal transportation.
“Ban on the transportation of livestock into and out of the State. Cessation of weekly markets in the frontline local government areas of Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kajuru and Kawo weekly market of Kaduna North local government”.
Aruwan also expressed the State Government’s regrets the severe strain and inconvenience these measures would place on peaceful law-abiding citizens, appealing for their understanding and cooperation saying, difficult times demand that difficult decisions be taken.
“The measures have been adopted purely in the interest of our collective safety and security, and to aid our brave forces in their fight against these mindless criminals.
“Too many lives have been lost, and too many families have been shattered. Small groups of wicked persons cannot continue to hold us to ransom and force us to live in perpetual fear.
“Once again, the government craves the understanding of all citizens. The hardship we face will be temporary and we are confident that in the end, goodwill prevails over evil”, Aruwan opined.