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The House of Representatives has directed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, to as a matter of urgency do everything possible to address the rising spate of attacks by bandits and kidnappers on travellers along the Abuja-Kaduna highway and other roads of Nigeria.
In line with that. the House directed all its committees on security to interface with the security agencies monthly, and brief the leadership and the entire chamber on a monthly and quarterly basis, respectively, on how far the agencies are going to ensure that the security crisis is properly addressed.
A member of the House, Mohammed Nalaraba, had moved a motion of urgent public importance at the plenary on Wednesday to lament attacks on the road linking Kaduna with the nation’s capital city.
Nalaraba said there were security reports that bandits were regrouping at Rijana village along the Abuja-Kaduna highway. He decried that despite the available intelligence, nothing has been allegedly done by security forces to flush them out. He decried that the criminals now operate from their new hideout unhindered.
He said, ‘Rijana is not like the Zamfara forest, it is a small community and these bandits have regrouped there; and if care is not taken, they will soon move to Suleja and then to Abuja.’
Nalaraba expressed concern over the growing security crises across the country, which he said had claimed many lives with no end in sight.
According to him, bandits have continued to attack travellers on the Abuja-Kaduna highway, killing and abducting Nigerians. He said attacks were recorded on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday without security agents stopping them.
The lawmaker decried that Nigerian roads, especially the Kaduna-Abuja road that he said is one of the busiest roads in the country, are no longer safe, especially on weekends. He noted that the situation is so bad that even senior military and security officers with security escorts can no longer travel on the road.
Nalaraba stated that the House, as representatives of the people, should direct security agencies to take immediate action to flush out the bandits from their hideouts and make the roads safe for Nigerians to travel.
In his contribution, Nicholas Ossai also decried that attacks on the roads are now daily despite the huge allocations to security.
Ossai said, ‘You will recall that in 2019, the Federal Government took $1bn and invested it in security without recourse to the National Assembly. But we supported the move in the interest of all. In 2020, a lot of money was again budgeted for security but a lot of lives have been lost, which have gone unannounced. But because a politician is killed now, it has become a national issue.
‘We are in the process of working on the 2022 budget and I am aware that a large chunk of money in the budget is going to security, even when Nigerians are dying.
‘The Abuja-Kaduna highway is one of the busiest roads in the country. It is the road used by our farmers in the North to transport their produce to the market in the South. If we can’t go to Kaduna or other parts of the North, then, why are we in the National Assembly?
‘We have committees on security in the House. We should mandate them to brief the leadership of the House on a monthly basis on what is happening with security in the country, and brief the entire House on a quarterly basis.‘
Africa Today News, New York had reported that suspected bandits on Sunday laid an ambush on the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna road abducting an unknown number of travellers.
Those who narrowly escaped the attack revealed that the gunmen blocked the road at Katari village at about 2 pm, operating for more than an hour.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK