The Niger State Government has banned commercial motorcycles from operating in Minna, adding that the ban was proactive steps to protect the city and government seat from bandits.
Ahmed Ketso, the Deputy Governor disclosed on Wednesday while briefing Journalists, a week after gunmen abducted 136 pupils from an Islamic school in Tegina.
“The ban on commercial motorcyclists is a step to avoid an attack. However private motorcyclists are free to operate from 6 am to 9 pm every day,” he said.
“There is the need to protect Minna as the seat of government because as we all can see, the bandits are leaving around us.”
He also reiterated the state government’s commitment to rescuing the schoolchildren, noting that negotiations with the abductors were ongoing.
According to Ketso, the negotiation was not about the payment of ransom but on how to secure the release of the pupils unhurt.
“I want to assure you that we have intensified efforts towards the safe release of the abducted children. We are being careful to ensure that there is no collateral damage on the part of the pupil we are rescuing,” he added.
He said the government is also aware that the bandits are demanding ransom from parents of the pupils, adding that government is however not involved in such negotiation.
Kelso said that the state government has provided lots of logistics to security agencies in the state towards enhancing their performance in the fight against the bandits.