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Traders Urge FG To Jettison Total Ban On Motorcycle

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Enugu -Traders under the aegis of the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have urged the Federal Government to jettison total ban on motorcycles considering its serious negative socio-economic consequences.

They appealed to the Federal Government through the National Security Council to drop the proposed blanket ban (total ban) on motorcycles nationwide but use intelligence to spot light and identify areas where the ban had become imperative.

This is contained in a statement issued by SEAMATA President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary-General, Mr Alex Okwudili, in Enugu on Sunday.

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The statement said that the attention of the association had been drawn to the proposal by the National Security Council to consider a total ban on motorcycles throughout the federation.

It said that according to the Council, ‘criminals and bandits were using motorcycles for their nefarious activities’.

It said that the association was rudely shocked that the nation’s highest security organ could make this statement, adding that SEAMATA consider the statement rudderless and amounts to, ‘throwing the baby away with the bath water’.

“We wish to draw the National Security Council’s attention to the implications and dire consequences which this most unpopular proposal portends for the nation.

“One, the Council did not consider that there are hundreds of motorcycle manufacturing industries across the federation with hundreds of thousands of youths in their direct employment and other thousands in ancillary and indirect employment.

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“This ban proposal means not only the folding of these industries, with its adverse implications on the economy of the federation, but sending hundreds of thousands of youths in their employments into the highly over-saturated Nigerian labour market.

“This will surely create a viable recruitment ground for bandits and criminals and in turn, escalate the security challenges of the nation.

“Two, there are other industries who produce motorcycle components, especially the rubber and plastic parts, shall as well fold up and sack all their employees, who shall in turn, add to the serious  challenges of insecurity to the nation.

“Three, the distribution chain of this industry, ranging from the dealers in motorcycles, others in motorcycle spare parts, more in artisans like mechanics and vulcanizers and many more as apprentices, all in their millions are those whose businesses are put on the line.

“They will likely be potential criminals and bandits being uploaded.

“Four, the number of citizens who genuinely depend on motorcycles to earn their living as commercial transport operators (okada), who are in their hundreds of thousands especially in the hinterlands, shall be thrown out of business.

“They will help to escalate the security challenges in the nation,” the statement said.

It noted that motorcycles used for positive purposes far outnumbers that used in perpetrating banditry and criminality, adding  it would sound illogical to ban motorcycles nationwide to get fight against insecurity, terrorism, banditry and criminality right.

The statement said that the association urged the Council to go back to the drawing board, rejig the nation’s security architecture, especially intelligence gathering, properly equip and strengthen the security agencies, identify and remove the bad eggs among them.

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It said: “The Council should reprimand all that could have failed or compromised or sabotaged their offices and begin to tackle insecurity with the seriousness it deserves.

“Banning motorcycles nationwide to fight insecurity is like setting a house ablaze in order to kill a rat, which is the highest smack of insensibility.

“We appeal to the Council, in their wisest decision, to cancel the proposal to ban motorcycles nationwide as its implementation will go down in history as the worst, the most unpopular and the worst error in judgment in the nation’s battle against insecurity.”

It would be recalled that SEAMATA is an umbrella association of traders in all the markets in the South-East geopolitical zone and traders of South-East extraction doing business in all the states of the federation and in the Diaspora.

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