By Matthew Ajai-Kume
The Military operation unit known as Operation Whirl Stroke has handed over 78 motorcycles, impounded by defaulters of the ban on use of motorcycles in Katsina Ala and Ukum Local Government Areas to the Benue State Government (BNSG), through the Special Adviser to Benue State Governor on Security Matters, Lt Col Paul Hemba (Rtd).
Lt Col Hemba (Rtd) received the motorcycles yesterday at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi from the Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, Major General Adeyemi Yekini.
The motorcycles included Honda Bajaj which is mostly used by criminals in Sankera axis to perpetrate their nefarious acts, as well as other smaller motorcycles, popularly called ladies machine.
In a chat with journalists, shortly after receiving the 78 motorcycles from Gen. Yekini, Lt Col Hemba (Rtd) said security agencies can not be deterred by blackmail or whatsoever in discharging their duties and responsibilities of curbing criminality, criminals and bandits operating in Sankera axis and other parts of the state.
The special adviser maintained that, due to the effectiveness of the ban on the use of motorcycles in the area, in checking the activities of criminals, criminal elements have resorted to propaganda and blackmail against security operatives.
“The decision by the state security council to ban the use of motorcycles in the area was to curtail the activities of bandits, kidnappers and other criminals, some of who used motorcycles to attack the residence of Executive Chaiman, Katsina Ala Local Government Area and other places in the area,” he said.
He pointed out that, although the ban on use of motorcycles in Sankera was effective, the decision would be reviewed, based on appeals from traditional rulers and other stakeholders that the ban should exclude small motorcycles which are mostly used by women.
It could be recalled that, after the Benue State Security Council recently banned the use of motorcycles in Katsina Ala and Ukum LGAs, security operatives had impounded several motorcycles, as well as burnt over 15 of the impounded motorcycles in Kyado and other parts of the area.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom, recently through a press statement made available to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase assured the people of the area that, the security council meeting will meet this week to review the measures taken, while he called on the people of Sankera to support the security agencies to succeed.