Four northern Nigerian states have introduced restrictions on movement to curb attacks that have disrupted economic activities and displaced thousands of people.
Niger and Kaduna states near the capital city of Abuja, and Zamfara, further north, are suspending weekly markets, while the northwestern state of Katsina has banned the trucking of cattle out of the state and the trade in livestock. All four states are also limiting the sale of gasoline and the use of motorcycles. Nigeria comprises of 36 states.
Security forces in Africa’s largest economy have struggled to stem attacks by criminal groups held responsible for an uptick in the kidnapping of students and farmers in exchange for ransom.
Rising insecurity has worsened the unemployment rate, which stood at 33.3% of the national workforce in December, and contributed to the acceleration of food inflation to 21% in July.
The disruption is necessary to tackle the “carnage and mayhem bandits and kidnappers are causing,” Ahmed Matane, secretary to the Niger state government, said in a statement Wednesday.
In a separate statement, Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle warned that failure to comply with the rules could lead to “being shot at by security operatives.”