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BREAKING: Kaduna Shuts Down Mobile Phone Services, Bans Commercial Motorcycles As Bandits Take Over State

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The government of Kaduna State has said it has asked telecommunications firms to suspend their services in the state from September 30, towards checking the activities of bandits, according to SaharaReporters.

The State’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Aruwan said the use of motorcycles for transport services and the sale of petrol in jerrycans have also been suspended across the state.

The latest development in Kaduna followed that of Zamfara, where all parts of the state are affected; Katsina State where 13 local government areas are affected and Sokoto State, where 14 LGAs are affected.

The governments of the three North-west states announced the suspension of telecommunications networks and banned weekly markets and sale of petrol in jerry cans, among other drastic measures to check the activities of bandits.

Aruwan said the Kaduna State Government has formally requested the Nigerian government to enforce the shutdown of telecoms services in parts of the state identified by security agencies as requiring such measures.

He said other security measures earlier announced by the state government remain in place and urged the residents to comply with the directives.

The state government had earlier said it had no plan to shut down telecoms networks despite the spike in crimes.

The statement read, “I am here to inform you of, and to formally announce the implementation of certain measures to assist the security agencies in parts of the state. You will recall that Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced in a media chat yesterday (28th September 2021) that the state government has formally requested the Federal Government to enforce the shutdown of telecom services in parts of the state identified by security agencies as requiring such measures.

“The relevant federal agencies have today informed the Kaduna State Government that the processes for telecoms shutdown in parts of the state have commenced. As part of the steps to address the current security situation in Kaduna State and neighbouring states in the North-West and North-Central regions, KDSG has held several meetings with security agencies to adopt critical measures towards crushing bandits in their identified hideouts.

“The military and other security forces have been carrying out assaults on the identified locations. The state government is advised that certain measures are now necessary to assist the spirited efforts of these security agencies.

“The following measures become effective from Thursday, 30 September 2021: The complete ban on the use of motorcycles (Okada), for commercial or personal purposes, for three months in the first instance.

“Ban on possession of/or wielding of dangerous weapons. Tricycles are allowed to operate only from 6am to 7pm. All tricycles must remove all curtains. Movement of all tricycles is restricted from dusk till dawn (7pm to 6am).

“All vehicles used for commercial transport must be painted in yellow and black within 30 days. Vehicles that are part of ride-hailing services are to carry yellow and black stripes. Ban on the sale of petrol in jerrycans or other containers in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kachia, Kagarko, and Kajuru LGAs.

“Other containment measures previously communicated by the Kaduna State Government remain in place. These include: Ban on felling of trees and forestry activities in Birnin Gwari, Giwa Igabi, Chikun, Kachia, Kagarko, and Kajuru LGAs. Ban on firewood and charcoal transportation.

“Ban on the transportation of livestock into and out of the State. Cessation of weekly markets in the frontline local government areas of Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kajuru, and Kawo weekly market of Kaduna North local government.

“The Kaduna State Government regrets the severe strain and inconvenience these measures will place on peaceful and law-abiding citizens. The Government, therefore, appeals for the understanding and cooperation of all residents of the affected areas, and indeed across the State. These difficult times have demanded that difficult decisions be made.

“The measures have been adopted purely in the interest of our collective safety and security, and to aid our brave forces in their fight against these mindless criminals. Too many lives have been lost, and too many families have been shattered. Small groups of wicked persons cannot continue to hold us to ransom and force us to live in perpetual fear.

“Once again, the government craves the understanding of all citizens. The hardship we face will be temporary, and we are confident that in the end, it will pay off. Good will prevail over evil.”

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