Kano - Nigeria's embattled northeast Yobe state on Friday imposed a travel ban through the Muslim holiday weekend to guard against Boko Haram attacks, barring motorists from reaching their families for the Eid celebration.
A message broadcast on public radio in Yobe instructed people "to remain in their towns and villages until Monday to forestall security breaches as we celebrate the Eid" holiday.
Yobe has been under a state of emergency since May last year because of the Boko Haram conflict and the have typically carried out strikes on Muslim holidays.
"We were turned back just outside (Yobe's capital) Damaturu this morning. We were told that we couldn't proceed because there is a lockdown in the whole of Yobe state," said Muntari Saidu, who was travelling from the Borno state capital Maiduguri to Kano.
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"We had no option but to turn back. This means I can't celebrate (Eid al Kabir/Eid al-Adha) with my family in Kano," he told AFP by phone.
Many of Boko Haram's most deadly attacks have been carried out by gunmen who storm towns and villages riding on motorcycles, trucks and armed personnel vehicles.
The ban over the holiday weekend would block any private or public vehicles from traveling on roads throughout the state.
Borno, which neighbours Yobe and has been the hardest hit area throughout the Boko Haram uprising, is expected to announce a similar measure later on Friday.
A military source, who requested anonymity, said the security forces in the restive northeast expected the insurgents to be active over the weekend.
"We have concrete intelligence that Boko Haram terrorists are planning massive attacks in Borno and Yobe state," said the source.
The militants are thought to be in control of more than two dozen towns and villages in the northeast, but the military insists that lost ground can be regained.