The Kaduna State Government has banned the sale of petroleum products in jerry cans or any other containers in five local government areas which have seen a surge in banditry and kidnapping.
The affected councils include Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Giwa, Igabi and Kajuru.
This was disclosed via a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Monday.
He noted that the ban is with immediate effect.
While directing security agencies to ensure compliance with the directives, Aruwan asked residents of the affected areas to cooperate with the government as necessary steps are taken against banditry and criminality across the state.
The state government also directed the suspension of weekly markets in five local government areas which have witnessed a spike in kidnapping and banditry in recent times.
The move by the Kaduna State Government is coming a few months after neighbouring Zamfara State criminalized the sale of petroleum products in jerry cans or any other containers.
According to the government, this will help to curb the activities of black marketers linked to bandits in the state.
The Zamfara Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara who disclosed this, said only vehicles should be attended to at petrol stations.
Kaduna, Zamfara and other states in the North-West and North-Central have been caught up in a surge in violence from heavily armed criminal gangs who loot villages, steal cattle and carry out mass kidnappings.
The violence has its roots in years-long tensions and tit-for-tat raids between farmers and nomadic herders over grazing land and water resources.
The criminal gangs, also known as bandits, often attack in large numbers and arrive on motorbikes.
Typically motivated by financial gain, they have been targeting schools and colleges, kidnapping students and pupils for ransom.
The armed forces have carried out operations and airstrikes on their camps, which are hidden deep in the forests that span Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger States, but violence has escalated.
In July, the Air Force said bandits had shot down one of its jets as it was carrying out operations in Zamfara State. The pilot ejected and escaped.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former soldier first elected in 2015, has warned paying ransoms will provoke more kidnappings. Some local governors have tried to negotiate amnesty deals to stop the attacks, though those accords have mostly failed.