THE BENUE State government has restricted the activities of commercial motorcyclists, also known as okada, in the state.
Following this decision, commercial motorcyclists would only be allowed to operate from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm till further notice.
A statement released on Wednesday by Nathaniel Ikyur, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said stiff penalties await anyone found flouting the order.
The statement said Governor Samuel Ortom has mandated security agencies in the state to enforce the new regulation.
The directive followed the recent security alarm raised by the Nasarawa State government and reports of terrorist attacks in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country.
“The decision to restrict the activities of commercial motorcycles was aimed at nipping in the bud the resurgence of criminal elements suspected to be moving into the state.
“The security council also resolved that all heavy-duty vehicles coming into the state, with covered tarpaulins, would be searched at designated checkpoints along routes in and out of the state with the contents thoroughly checked before being allowed to pass,” the statement added.
Ortom however maintained that the earlier outright ban on the use of motorcycles in the Sankera axis comprising Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum local government areas subsists.
Banditry and terrorist attacks have escalated across Nigeria, leading to the death of 7,222 persons and abduction of 3,823 others in the past seven months, according to data from the Nigeria Security Report.
While Borno State, with 163 deaths, recorded the highest number of fatalities in the period under review, Benue State followed closely with 90.