Planned Okada Ban: Another Evidence Of Non-Scientific Thinking In The Corridors Of Power—-Afenifere

Comrade Jare Ajayi, the national publicity secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said that the plan by the federal government to ban commercial motorcycle and mining activities purportedly to curb insecurity is another evidence that deep or scientific thinking does not characterize how decisions are arrived at in the corridors of power.

According to him, government was wrong on its limiting logistical sources of terrorists to mining and commercial motorcycling, “it is hardly surprising therefore that its prescription is so fatally wrong!”

It would be recalled that in announcing the plan by the federal government on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Abuja, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami said that “placing a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities will cut the supply of logistics to the terrorists”. Ajayi said that such a position indicated that availability of motorcycles popularly called Okada was what had been fueling terrorism – along with mining activities that he also mentioned.

Punching holes into this, Afenifere spokesman said that motorcycle riding and mining had been in existence long before terrorism reared its head. So these could not have been the leif motif of terrorism.

“Also, to suppose that banning these activities would put a stop to terrorism is not only a wishful thinking, it amounts to an induced self-delusion that can only complicate the ailment that one is suffering from.

Pursuing that line is leaving the substance to chase the shadow While conceding that terrorists are using motorcyles in their dastardly acts, he argued that if motorcyles are not available, they would use some other means. Thus, the vehicle being used by terrorists is not what government should focus its attention on but making sure that terrorism is taking out of the hearts of its perpetrators.

The Attorney General went further to say that banning of motorcyles may affect only 20 per cent of Nigerians and that such people should be ready to make sacrifices for the remaining population.

To Ajayi, this is not only lame, it betrays how much value those in authority places on the lives on Nigerians. “20 per cent of Nigeria’s assumed population of 200 million would be 40 million. So, Mr. Malami sees nothing wrong in 40 million people ‘sacrificing’? Especially sacrificing for a cause that is not only undefined but clearly anti-people?

” There are many countries in the world with a population of 40 million or under. What about several whose livelihoods revolve around the two activities mentioned by the government? They don’t seem to matter.”

We in Afenifere have said it repeatedly that government has not demonstrated that it is serious about combating terrorism. Various reports in the public domain have repeatedly indicated where those who are perpetrating evil against the country are and the methods they are using.

Government and its security agencies are even privy to better information than the ones in the public domain. Yet, the government and its agencies still found it difficult to deal with the situation as it should. We believe that this is not due to lack of capacity.

Rather, it is due to lack of will – which is not in the interest of anybody, except those who have chosen the evil part. They must remember however that they cannot escape the wroth of God – even if they kept manipulating situations here.

To further underscore the claim of insincerity on the part of government, Afenifere spokesman mentioned the disclosure by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola that lack of efforts to work on the intelligence gathered before the attack on Kuje Prison was what made the attack to occur successfully.

According to Ajayi, “what is the purpose of gathering intelligence if you don’t use the intelligence at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way?”

Explaining the rationale behind his allegation of insincerity on the part of government, Afenifere spokesman said that since the Minister of Interior discovered unprofessional act on the part of some officers regarding Kuje Prison attack, “what step has the government taken? So far, we have not heard that any officer or officials were reprimanded.”

Ajayi called on the government to remember that it is the lives of Nigerians that are been violently and unjustly sacrificed on a daily basis. It should therefore summon the necessary political and intellectual will to put an end to this ogre that is fast consuming Nigeria at an unimaginable rate.

He reiterated a call that Afenifere has made repeatedly on the need to allow states to establish their own police forces. “The federal government should put an end to the kid-glove treatment it is giving terrorists, empower and allow security agencies to do their jobs professionally. It should also allow state governments that are so prepared to establish their police forces within the federal system of government that we are practicing” Ajayi concluded.

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