Members of the House of Representatives have lamented the increasing attacks by bandits especially along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, describing it as an onslaught national security.
The lawmakers said the spate of insecurity in Nigeria has been “a matter of grave concern” to all well-meaning patriots for several years.
“This state of insecurity has severely affected travel on Nigerian roads as Nigerians have either opted to remain where they are or opt for means of transportation that are outside their means or convenience,” the lawmaker added.
The representatives said these while addressing journalists after the plenary on Thursday.
Speaking on their behalf, Garba Datti-Muhammad said, “Not so long ago, there were concerns about the incessant incidents of banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and measures were taken that appeared to have minimised the threat on that stretch of road.
“It was hoped that that would be the beginning of the end of the challenge of insecurity on our roads as it affected the entire country. Sadly, this has not been the case. Instead the phenomenon of banditry has steadily and increasingly found its way back to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
“In the last five days, it has reached its deplorable and lamentable peak as the spate of attacks, killings, abductions, kidnappings and robberies on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway have resulted in crisis of frightening and calamitous proportions.
“On Sunday, November 21, 2021, in the most publicised but certainly not the only one of such daring attacks over the last few days, a retired Director of Protocol of the Federal Capital Development Authority and a governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, Hamidu Sagir, was brutally killed while four yet-to-be-ascertained numbers of commuters were abducted in terrifying circumstances.
“This seemingly underestimated onslaught on our individual, collective and national security has continued unabated in spite of its seeming predictability. It is obvious that this should not be the case.”
The representatives noted that the Abuja-Kaduna Highway is the critical gateway between the North and the South of Nigeria and the major link road to the North-West and North-East as well as to many neighbouring countries.
The lawmakers stressed that the highway is also the key outlet for the transportation of persons, goods and services across Nigeria and this is evident in the extraordinary traffic on it round the clock.
“For these and other reasons that cannot be accommodated in this statement, it is imperative that the secure state of the Abuja-Kaduna Highway must be restored at once,” they stated.
Datti-Muhammad added, “We must caution that the situation on the highways, particularly the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, if not immediately rectified, spells doom for the economy and the social life of Nigerians contrary to Section 15(1) of the Constitution, which mandates the Nigerian State to ‘provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout’ Nigeria as well as section 41(1) which guarantees the right to freedom of movement throughout Nigeria to every Nigerian.
“We are worried that the sad consequence of this state of affairs is that this nation and Nigerians have lost a lot in human lives, financial resources, human dignity and citizen confidence as well as that the nation and Nigerians are at risk of losing substantially more.
“In our determination that this state of affairs must be immediately reversed as a matter of urgency in the discharge of the state’s obligation to guarantee the security and welfare of the people, we hereby call on the relevant security agencies in Nigeria to urgently and without further delay collaborate to put an end to the nefarious and despicable activities of these criminals and secure the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and all such other highways by deploying the personnel and material resources as well as intelligence necessary to accomplish the same.”