Anambra Bans Okada Operations At Night As Motorcyclists Linked To Rise In Crime

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Anambra Governor Willie Obiano.

Following the criminal activities perpetrated with the aid of motorcycles in Anambra State, the state government, weekend, banned operations of both private and commercial motorcycles across the state at night.

The state commissioner for information and public enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, said the ban was sequel to a series of security and intelligence reports linking crimes in the state to motorcycles. The ban restricts operations of motorcyclists between 6am and 9pm, except those on essential duties.

According to him, “The period allowed for motorcycle movement in other parts of the state is appropriate for people doing legitimate businesses. Most crimes in the state take place between 9pm and 6am. Of course, the total ban on the use of motorcycles in Onitsha and Awka since 2018 remains in force.”

While reiterating the commitment of the state government towards ensuring the security of lives and property in the state, the commissioner said, “This commitment has resulted in the state’s emergence in the last few years as the safest and most peaceful state in not just Nigeria but also West Africa. Consequently, the state has recorded an investment flow on an unprecedented scale.”

He added that, “In consideration of the above, the Anambra State government cannot allow tiny groups of criminally-minded elements to carry out their plans to unleash mayhem in the state in the months of December and January, and use motorcycles to carry out the nefarious activity. It is regrettable that most of the violent crimes which occurred in the state in recent times, like clashes by cult groups, were perpetrated by persons using motorcycles.”

He said the restriction began on December 4, 2020, and that the enforcement would be by the Nigeria Police Force, and youth groups in every community working in conjunction with the Anambra Vigilante Group (AVG). Adinuba therefore called on traditional rulers and presidents general of town unions to ensure the success of the ban ‘to safeguard the lives and property of every Anambra person’.

A business man, Comrade Chido Okolo, in a reaction, described the moves as apt, but called on the state government to do more. According to him, “Crimes have been carried out with the aid of motorcycles in our state for a long time. The ban is a welcome development, and a way of assuring our people of their safety during the forthcoming celebrations. I also call on the government to do more in creating jobs for our teeming youths. Enabling environment should also be provided for the private sector to thrive. Over taxing investors should be avoided. These measures will create rooms for mass employment of our youths.”

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