Sankera Unrest: Why govt banned motorcycle operations- Hemba

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, retired Col. Paul Hemba, says that the state government took the decision to ban motorcycle operations in Sankera area because bandits, kidnappers and armed robbers now use motorcycles to carry out their nefarious activities, and this makes it very difficult for security agents to trail and arrest them through bush paths.

Hemba said this in a media briefing with journalists today in his office while disclosing that some motorcycles had been handled over to the state government by security agencies.

According to Hemba, the 78 impounded motorcycles which Benue State Government took delivery of courtesy Operation Whirl Stroke led by Major General Adeyemi Yekini, were impounded from violators of the ban on movement of motorcycles in Sankera.

He stated that arrests had also been made and that bandits and criminal elements operating in the area were being trailed to their hideouts by security agents, stressing that government is determined to restore peace in the area.

Earlier in the briefing, Col. Hemba noted that the ban was a decision of the State Security Council which is part of efforts by the Governor Ortom-led administration to curtail banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities in parts of the state.

He stated that although there are isolated cases of burning of motorcycles, the ban is effective and had grossly affected the bandits, resorting to propaganda against Operation Whirl Stroke to make it look as if all impounded bikes have been burnt.

He also stated that traditional rulers from Sankera had already made a case to the Governor to consider exempting motorcycles used by mostly women in the area as the bandits use Bajaj to carry out their nefarious activities.