By Thursday 24 January commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Achaba in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano, and Okada in Southern Nigeria, would have been out of Kano streets and out of business.
The order as made by Kano state acting governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in a state broadcast on Tuesday, was inevitable following a series of attacks by gunmen on motorbikes, the latest being the one made on the lives of Emir of Kano and his two sons and the one at Dakata today.
Last Saturday’s attack carried out by gunmen in an SUV, supported by their lieutenants on motorbikes claimed the lives of six persons as at the last count, while several others got wounded, including two heirs apparent to the Kano throne, Nasiru and Sanusi Bayero who were both flown to the United Kingdom with their father for medical treatment two days ago.
In public interest, the acting governor, who urged all Kano citizens to show support and concern at times like this, pronounced a ban for using motorcycles for commercial activities.
Ganduje also stated that on no account should a motorcyclist carry a passenger, be it a family friend, colleague or wife, adding that there was also need for motorcycle owners to go back to their various Local Government Areas for proper documentation and registration of motorcycles and their users.
The acting governor said the steps were taken in line with emerging security challenges facing the state, pointing out that for the safety of individuals and for maintaining peace and stability in the state, all motorcycles operating within the 44 Local Government Areas in Kano must be registered.
According to the broadcast made in Hausa at the local broadcast stations in Kano, including Radio Kano, “this action by the state government became necessary in order to secure the state from the unnecessary security challenges that it has witnessed for sometime now.
“We will also ensure that every motorcycle is duly registered so as to ensure the safety of the owner and the security of the state. And we are also calling on the motorcyclists—both private and commercial to go their respective Local Government Areas and register.
“This action by the state government became necessary following a series of security reports on the situation in the state, and after consultations, coupled with the commercial viability of the state.
“The government now deems it right that as from Thursday, motorcyclists would be stopped from carrying passengers within the metropolis and the Local Government Areas,” Ganduje stated.
Kano has now joined several states in Nigeria that have imposed restrictions or total ban on the use of motor cycles for commercial activities. Lagos recently banned them from the major roads, while in Akwa Ibom and Rivers, it is a total ban.
Abuja, the Federal capital several years ago began the regime of banning, keeping them out of the city centre.