By Emmanuel Nduka
The Nigerian Government is considering banning the use of motorcycles across the country over insecurity worries.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami on Thursday while addressing journalists at the end of the National Security Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also said the Government is also considering banning mining activities across the country.
According to Malami, the ban is being considered as part of efforts to curtail the activities of terrorists, who often use motorcycles.
“Placing a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities will cut the supply of logistics to the terrorists.
“This will be done in the national interest. We are Nigerians because Nigeria as a country exists and any issue that will translate into a threat to national security or the corporate existence of the country requires certain sacrifices.
“So, regardless of the means that is being considered for the possible banning, this is a sacrifice that we see as what will help address the security challenges and I think no sacrifice is too big as far as that issue is concerned,” Malami said.
The minister also said that less than a third of Nigeria’s 200 million population would be affected by a ban on motorcycles and so it was worth the sacrifice, adding that it is in the interest of the nation.
“Above all, if you are talking of banning motorcycles, for example, I think the number of people using these motorcycles is not up to 20 per cent of the Nigerian population,” he said. “So if that percentage is called to make a sacrifice that is all-pervading or affecting over 200 million Nigerians, I think that sacrifice is not too much and is worthy of being considered,” he added.
He said the government had since discovered that following its blockage of sources of funding for terrorists, they have resorted to the use of non-conventional sources of funding like mining and collection of ransom, to fund their nefarious activities.
In Nigeria, motorcycles are a common means of transportation among poor and middle-class citizens. Apart from being used for crime, they have also been blamed for the high rate of accidents on highways.