The federal government Thursday said it’s considering banning mining activities and the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada.
This, it said, was part of measures to address the persistent armed banditry and terror attacks in some parts of the country.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) announced this whole briefing State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of the National Security Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said it was government’s thinking that banning commercial motorcycles and mining activities would cut off bandits and terrorists’ sources of funding.
“Placing a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities will cut the supply of logistics to the terrorists. This will be done in the national interest.
“We are Nigerians because Nigeria as a country exists and any issue that will translate into a threat to national security or the corporate existence of the country requires certain sacrifices.
“So, regardless of the means that is being considered for the possible banning, this is a sacrifice that we see as what will help address the security challenges and I think no sacrifice is too big as far as that issue is concerned.
“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,” he said.
Malami further said the responsibility of the government is to protect public interest over individual interest, stressing that the ban being considered by the government was in the national interest.
He said since the government’s blockage of terrorists’ source funding, they have resorted to using unconventional sources of funding such as mining and ransom collection to fund their nefarious activities.
On Kuje Prison attack
Also speaking, Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola said those responsible for the failure of intelligence, defence and security at the Kuje Correctional Centre attacked by bandits, would face severe consequences.
He said significant efforts were on intelligence gathering before the recent attack on Kuje Correctional Centre, but the incidence still occurred due to lack of will to act on intelligence.
The minister, who told journalists that the preliminary investigation on the attack was submitted to the president, said all those found to have compromised their responsibilities would be punished.
“A preliminary report on what happened in Kuje has been sent to the president but a more detailed comprehensive report will come at the end of the investigation.
“We have identified all those whose action or inaction led to that unfortunate incident and those who have shacked their responsibility will have to face the consequences of their action,” the minister said.
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