Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State has restricted the operation of motorcycle operators popularly called okada in the area.

This follows the rising case of insecurity in the area.

The restriction would be from the hours of 7pm in the evening to 6am the following morning .

Chairman of the council, Lahtch Loolo stated this in Bori on Monday after a meeting with market women, Landlord Association and National Union of Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW).

He noted that the council would not fold its hands and watch those he called agents of darkness continue to harass residents and visitors in the area.

The chairman reassured the people that the order is not intended to witch-hunt anyone but to restore peace and security in Khana and called for the cooperation of everyone in his quest to restore security of lives and property in the area.

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He warned against violation of the directive, saying that stiff penalties would be meted to defaulters.

He added that security operatives have been detailed to ensure the enforcement of the restriction order.

There has been a rising wave of crime in the area in recent months.

Most of the crimes are perpertrated by people riding on motorcycles.

Some residents welcomed the restriction, saying they hoped it would keep criminals at bay.

A resident who gave his name as Daniel Erelo told our correspondent, “It was a good decision by the local council. I’m sure you know that in recent times, crime has been on the increase in the area.

“But my fear is that some security agencies will take advantage of this to exploit the operators.''

Another resident that simply gave his name as Moses while commending the government for showing concern over the security of its citizens, also called on the government to provide an alternative that would cushion the effect of the ban.

“Government's decision is good. But the problem I have with that is that they (government) have not been able to provide alternative means of transportation that would be conveying people home from 7pm till maybe 10 or so as the case may be.''

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