From Jude Owuamanam, Jos

Residents of Bokkos in Plateau State have called on the state government to ban the use of Honda motorcycles as a means of transportation to curb banditry in the region.

The President of the Bokkos Cultural Development Council (BCDC), Prof. Stephen Mallo, representing the three Chiefdoms of Ron, Mushere, and Kulere, made this request during a meeting with stakeholders of Bokkos and Mangu local government areas and the Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Maj. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Mallo argued that Honda motorcycles are favoured by bandits due to their ruggedness, tubeless tyres, and high fuel efficiency, making them ideal for traversing the challenging terrain of Plateau. He suggested that other motorcycle brands, such as Jencheng and Bajaj, which use regular tyres and are more vulnerable to difficult terrain, should be preferred.

“Honda Motorcycles and Honda TVS products should be banned,” Mallo stated. “These categories of motorcycles use tubeless tyres and are very rugged. They are the vehicles the marauding Fulani terrorists use in difficult terrains with high fuel efficiency. Other categories of Motorcycles such as Jencheng and Bajaj motorcycles have normal tubes in the tyres and are vulnerable to hard terrains hence the Fulanis don’t use them for their nefarious activities.”

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He further highlighted the unique geographical challenges of Bokkos LGA, characterized by undulating plains, mountains, and hills. This terrain, bordering Nasarawa and Kaduna States, provides easy access for bandits and serves as their hideouts.

Mallo emphasized the need for specialized vehicles suitable for such challenging terrain to combat banditry effectively. He suggested options like All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Off-Road Vehicles, Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs), Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), Light Tactical Vehicles, and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).

He also called for the establishment of Tactical Surveillance Units in strategic locations like Mazat, Maikatako, Maiyanga, Butura Gida/Company, Mangor/Tanti, Mbar-Mangar, Manguna, Josho, Daffo -Mandung, Mbong-Bodel, Yelwa, Ndun, Ngyong, Matelem, Horop, Mushu, Makada, Bot, and Forof.

Mallo concluded by stressing the need for technology-aided security surveillance along the borders of Nasarawa and Kaduna States, increased federal government presence in terms of security and infrastructure, profiling of illegal herdsmen, and the resettlement of displaced persons. He urged the authorities to implement these proposed strategies urgently to protect the indigenous communities and all peace-loving people in the troubled local government areas.