Following the surge in the spate of kidnapping and armed robbery in the state in recent times, the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has banned the operation of commercial motorcycles from the roads after 6pm.
The operators will henceforth operate between 6 am and 6 pm.
The bursar of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Adejuwon Matthew, on Wednesday, escaped being kidnapped narrowly when kidnappers struck by Waterworks/Upenmen Road, in Owo.
The kidnappers were said to have fired shots at him while trying to escape from the scene.
Samuel Ojo, the spokesperson of the polytechnic, said Mr Adejuwon left the campus after working hours and headed for Akungba-Akoko in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state.
He said Mr Adejuwon ran into some herdsmen crossing the highway with their cattle apparently to stop vehicles on the highway.
Mr Ojo said the Bursar’s driver managed to manoeuvre through before the cattle could cover the entire highway.
It was at that moment he said gunshots were fired from the supposed herdsmen which impaled the car of the bursar but they escaped being hit by the bullets.
Also, during the week, persons, including market women, were abducted along the Owo-Akure highway.
The Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, who conveyed the directive of the governor in a statement on Friday, said anyone found flouting the directive would have his motorcycle impounded.
The governor also banned all vehicles with unauthorised tinted glasses from plying the roads.
He said tinted vehicles, without duly certified permit, issued by a relevant security agency, would be impounded.The governor urged residents of the state to provide useful information about crime, criminal elements and activities in their immediate environment.
“The Ondo State Government has noted with concern, the worrisome spike in crime rate across the state,” Mr Ojogo said.
“In particular, security reports at the disposal of Government are considered signs deserving of serious attention.
“Specifically, the last one week witnessed an unimaginable upsurge in robbery, kidnapping and in some cases, murder. This is no doubt, condemnable.
“Government, therefore, urges all security agencies to come out and confront this abhorrent development. Every necessary support, in terms of both human and logistics aids shall be provided to ensure the safety of residents within the state.
“As a Government, one major responsibility is the provision of security as well as protection of lives and property. In this regard, measures aimed at achieving such goals are the least Government can enunciate.
“Finally, it is pertinent to reiterate that security enhancement and war against insecurity are everybody’s responsibility.
“While Government and the security agencies play their parts, it is expected that the citizens also support by way of collaborating with the relevant agencies of Government.”
It is however not clear if the Okada operators would be willing to adhere to the directive, knowing that most unemployed youth are in the business.
Mr Akeredolu had recently lamented the low level of policing in the state and had called on the police to rise up to the situation.
The aftermath of the EndSARS protest with the police yet to be fully back to their duties, may have embolden criminals to continue their activities unhindered.
Although the state’s security network, Amotekun, is making efforts to stand in the gap, it is limited in its powers to make the kind of intervention noted with the police.