The Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria has described the proposed nationwide ban on motorcycles by the Federal Government as a grave mistake that would do the nation more harm than good if implemented.
The National Chairman of the union, Prince Shamsudeen Adebayo, issued the warning at a press conference held at its National Secretariat, Jabi, Abuja, on Monday, in reaction to the planned ban on the use of motorcycles over the insecurity in the country by the National Security Council.
The PUNCH reports that last week, the Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, disclosed the intention of the council to limit the activities of motorcyclists after linking them to the rise of terrorism in the country
The minister was quoted as saying, “Above all, if you are talking of banning motorcycles, for example, I think the number of people using these motorcycles is not up to 20 per cent of the Nigerian population.
“So, if that percentage is called to make a sacrifice that is all-pervading or affecting over 200 million Nigerians, I think that sacrifice is not too much and is worthy of being considered.”
However, the ACOMORAN chairman in his reaction said, “Without doubt, the council is proposing to put an end to the means of mobility and source of living of 40 million Nigerians directly. The number will increase, at least by another half when you consider those that are directly involved.
“Painfully, these are people whom the government failed to provide with meaningful employment or any form of sustainable empowerment.
“Using motorcycle as a means of commercial transportation has provided the needed job for millions of Nigerians and some of our members include higher institution graduates who would have been an added weight to an already overweight unemployed sector of the country.
“Has the government made any plans to absorb these sets of people into paid employment? Let us not forget that these millions of people have children, spouses and dependents who rely on these riders to provide for them.”
The chairman noted that the union boasted 12 million active riders and six million registered riders across the country and these cannot be inferred to be accomplices in the current onslaught by terrorists.
He also urged the Federal Government to have a rethink stating that there were other solutions which could eliminate the terrorism without making more citizens unemployed.