Mixed reactions are trailing the military lock-down of Mubi town in Adamawa during the Christmas celebrations, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports.
Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa, which has experienced series of attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, was under restriction of vehicular movement on Christmas Day until after 12 noon while commercial cyclists operation has been suspended until Wednesday for security reasons.
Some residents of the commercial border town on Monday said any step taken to protect lives was a welcome one while others said the step was too harsh on the public.
Danladi Chamber, a public commentator, said the development was a welcome one and that residents needed to show understanding and support the security measure.
“We appreciate the hardship caused by the security measure but no sacrifice is too big for the security of our lives and properties,” Mr. Chamber said.
He cited the recent suicide bomb attack on worshipers in a mosque in Mubi as something that might have prompted the military to restrict movement.
Also commenting on the development, a commercial bus driver, Amos Baba, said the action was okay and should be supported by the public.
However, on his part, Sunday Wugira, a lawyer, said the measure was too harsh as it looked more like punishing the people than protecting them.
“Many a times the people you are trying to protect, if you are not careful, you may end up hurting them; there is no basis closing the town for three days in the name of security precaution.
“There should be a more proactive measure instead of this crude approach,” Mr. Wugira said.
A commercial tri-cyclist, Musa Ibrahim, criticised the measure that banned their operation for three days, describing it as “too harsh”.
Mr. Ibrahim said the action did not only make them suffer loses in their business but also created hardship for commuters who solely depended on keke-napep, being the major source of transportation in the town.
“Most people are forced to trek to visit friends, Churches, markets and other places while those of us that depended on this job to feed are left to count our loses.
“Our plea is that since private cars are allowed to move around as from 12 noon, we should also be allowed to start our operation as majority of the residents don’t own private cars, and need to move around as well,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
Similarly, some commuters, who spoke on the development, called for relaxation of the measure.
A commuter, Paul Zakari, pointed out that even Maiduguri where there was frequent suicide attacks, never had such restrictions.
Meanwhile, Adamawa Police Command said the Christmas celebration was going on smoothly across the state.
The command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar, told NAN that so far there was no report of security breach.
Mr. Abubakar, who reiterated the commitment of the police and other security agencies to ensure hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations, urged the public to be more vigilant and security conscious. (NAN)