Bauchi State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has expressed surprise over the state government’s sudden lifting of the ban on commercial motorcycles (Achaba) in Bauchi metropolis, saying the action would heighten the state of insecurity in the area.
The state government had banned the operation of commercial motorcyclists in the wake of last month’s uproar following the kidnap of seven foreigners in the state by Islamist sect and the alleged killings of some residents of Zango area of the state.
However, CAN said it was “shocked to hear that the state government, which earlier announced the ban on the operation of Achaba riders in the state, suddenly rescinded its decision.
Apart from the seven foreigners, who were kidnapped, some unidentified gunmen had also attacked Zango, a suburb of Bauchi State and killed Ayuba Shehu, Freeman Lumi, Godia Rimi, Ishaku Samson, Joseph Komo, Inna Zamba, Samuel Mutashi, Ishaya Jauro and Haruna Ayuba at the residence of a traditional title holder in September last year.
In another recent attack, a businessman, whose name was given as Collins from Akwa-Ibom State was also reportedly killed in his shop.
Reacting to the lifting of the ban on Achaba, state Chairman of CAN, Rev. Lawi Pokti, said the lifting of the ban smacked of “insensitivity on the part of government over the killings of Christians and foreigners alike in the state.
“It is very disheartening that in spite of the selective killings of some innocent people, who are contributing immensely to the development of the state, the government went ahead to lift the ban on Achaba.
“The leadership of CAN is not happy over this development. If this trend continues, Bauchi State will soon become a shadow of itself with almost everybody now leaving the state to other more secure parts of the country.
“From investigations, the perpetrators of these crimes use motorcycles.”
Pokti lamented over the alleged inability of the government to provide security for the residents.
He said: “People are being killed on a regular basis at Zango and Railway areas of the state and little or nothing is being done to stem the tide of insecurity by agencies of government. Security agents must intensify efforts to restore peace and sanity in the troubled areas.
“The killings taking place in Zango and Railway areas of the state are premeditated because these gunmen know their victims. It is so sad to discover that the targets of these attacks are mainly Christians residing in these areas.
“These people, who mind their business, are contributing to the development of the state and we wonder why somebody should see them as enemies. We feel this ugly development is getting out of hand and should be addressed on time to avert another calamity.”