THE reaction of the Kano State Government – ban on commercial motorcycle riders – after the attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero punishes the innocent as well as the possible attackers. The wonder is why government would lump the innocent with the guilty.
Is the government under panic or wants to be seen as doing something? The attack is condemnable. The use of motorcycle riders in executing similar attacks is not new. Governments in certain States have limited operations of motorcycle riders as investigations link them with crimes.
This measure is a simple reaction that fails to address a crucial matter and sets out to create new challenges for the sprawling city of Kano and its environs. How would the millions who depend on commercial motorcycles survive? Did the government think of the ban’s impact in a city of more than five million people, not counting other parts of the State where people normally depend on motorcycles for transportation? Has it in the three days after the attack found solutions to the state’s transport challenges to warrant the ban?
Why do governments treat the poor with this type of disdain? Could it not have a better reason for banning motorcycles? Does it take an attack on the Emir of Kano for government to know that motorcycle riders collude with criminals? Does that make all motorcycle riders criminals?
Have suicide bombers not used cars in their attacks? Why did the government not ban cars? Suppose the attackers start using pedestrians as suicide bombers would government ban people from walking around?
To say the least, this decision shows the government of Kano State is waiting to react to security challenges in its environment. It is equally sad that this reaction came because of the profile of the victim of the most recent attack.
Alhaji Ado Bayero, 83, a former police officer, former Nigerian Ambassador to Senegal, would be 50 years as Emir of Kano by 22 October. He is widely respected and those who know him expect him to oppose measures that oppress the poor further, all in the name of dealing with a challenge everyone knows uses motorcycle riders as just one of its various platforms.
On its part, the Federal Government should be tired of reminding Nigerians that they are safe. Saying the attacks were “one too many”, and that “attackers would be fished out and punished”, have become standard responses to the loss of thousands of lives since the attacks started.
Governments must be more profound in counting the cost of solutions to our numerous challenges before they forget that their primary responsibility is the security and welfare of the people.