Niger State Government has announced the suspension of all weekly cattle markets across the state as part of measures to curtail the rising cases of armed banditry and kidnappings, effective from September 1, 2021.
The Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, also said in a statement on Tuesday, that any vehicle carrying cattle into the state must show a Way-bill and evidence of origin where cattle were purchased and their destination.
The State had also banned the sale of petroleum products in Jerry Cans or any other containers at filling stations and operations of trucks carrying firewoods and timbers.
He said movement of motorcycles in Minna and environs are only allowed from 6am to 6pm.
Matane further said all petroleum stations were not allowed to sell the product of more than N10,000 to a vehicle at a time.
He also directed filling stations to be vigilant of vehicles or motorcycles coming for repeat purchases.
It was also gathered that the ban on motorcycles would be extended to areas where banditry and kidnappings have persisted.
These measures came five days after the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, vowed while receiving the Tegina Islamiyya Children at the Government House in Minna that he would put in place necessary measures to deal with the criminals in the state.
The SSG said: “Government is aware of the inconveniences the measures would cause the people, but the decision was taken in the overall interest of the State.”
Ban on sales of used clothes
Daily Trust, however, gathered that the state government is also planning to ban the sales of fairly used clothes especially the cardigan and distribution of loaves of bread using cartons on motorcycles as part of measures, as some were alleged to serve as informants and suppliers of guns to the bandits and other criminals.
“Government is still contemplating on the ban on hawking and supply of loaves of bread with cartons on motorcycles and the sales of cardigans, popularly known as Sweater.
“It is believed that those guys conceal guns in the bread while they are suppliers of sweaters to bandits,” the source said.
Measures too stringent
But a Minna-based Civil Society Organisation, the Blue Resolution Initiative, said the measures were too stringent unless the government was ready to provide alternatives to cushion the hardship the masses might face.
The President of the initiative, Mohammed Danjuma Abubakar, said; “even small scale businesses that are trying to thrive will die because the owners close around 10pm.
“The ban on movement of motorcycles in Minna is not ideal. And for markets, no attack has taken place in any markets. So the livelihood of many rural people is also at a stake.”