According to Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, President Muhammadu Buhari considered on Thursday placing a national ban on the sale and use of motorcycles (Okada) by Nigerians.
According to Mr. Malami, despite the security agencies’ concerted efforts, the administration was forced to contemplate the broad prohibition due to the ongoing insecurity.
“The government would look into that possibility with particular regard to restriction on use and distribution of motorcycles which is the most conventional logistical means being deployed by terrorists,” Mr Malami said at the State House shortly after a meeting of the national security council on Thursday afternoon.
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The administration’s decision, according to Mr. Malami, was not simple, and the move is expected to have serious economic repercussions for Nigerians.
According to the attorney general, federal investigators have been able to link motorcycles, mining operations, and nationwide insecurity. But he didn’t explain why the proposal was being evaluated nationally.
Since 2009, Boko Haram rebels have primarily operated on the northeastern border of the nation, while bandits terrorize northwest villages. Numerous states in both regions have banned motorcycles and cut telephone service to millions of people, but efforts by the authorities to restore normalcy to the areas have not shown any appreciable results.
Expanding motorcycle restrictions across the nation might prevent millions of people from traveling to work in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, and other economically important areas of the country. The southern regions have already struggled with separatist agitations in the southeast and attacks on oil pipelines.
Mr. Malami remained adamant that the administration would not disregard its intelligence report that suggested banning motorcycles to stop the flow of cash and other resources to outlaws on the rampage, even though he did not immediately say when the ban would be announced or whether it would be openly discussed before implementation.