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Mixed reactions as government withdraws security checkpoints on Kaduna — Abuja Highway

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Mixed reactions have trailed the advisory issued by Kaduna State Government to outlaw security checkpoints along the Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Zaria and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highways.

The state government, in its claim to rout the criminal elements, and end the menace of kidnapping and banditry along highways, said there would no longer be authorised checkpoints on the three major highways in the state. 

It would be recalled that within a week, on the Abuja-Kaduna Road, two persons were shot dead by bandits and seven persons kidnapped, including three students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. 

Similarly, on the Kaduna -Zaria Road, gunmen also abducted a  State House of Assembly member, Suleiman Ibrahim Dabo,  representing Zaria Constituency.

However, the move by the government to bar security checkpoints without revealing any alternative plans to secure the highways has left people speculating and guessing. 

A commercial driver, Mr. Oyinlade, who plies Kaduna – Kwara – Abuja Road described the order as ‘a blessing in disguise.’

“These checkpoints are useless because of atrocities committed by police officers on duty. They kill drivers and collect bribes from drivers. Criminals also wear security uniforms to operate…”

However, a private car driver, Mr. Jerry Sheyin, said he was not comfortable with it. 

“Physical appearance of security men gives people an assurance of safety. There should be checkpoints on our roads,” he said.
 
Kaduna resident,  Alhaji Tajudeen Tijani, said: “ There is no way the government can remove checkpoints without providing alternatives. The government must have concrete reasons for doing that.  The objective could be to protect the life and property of people plying the routes.”

Another resident, Charles Musa, described the move as unhealthy, noting that the presence of security men at roadblocks could instill fear in criminals. 

Similarly,  a Civil Society Organisation, Centre for Media Advocacy for Mother and Child (CAMAC) said it was possible that security outfits might have compromised by conniving with criminals to perpetrate evil, hence the need for their removal.  
 
The Executive Director of the group,  Mr Alex Uangbaoje, said: “What happened in Taraba regarding Wadume’s issue should teach us a lesson. I think the question we should be asking is: Have checkpoints changed anything?…”

The State Police Command’s PPRO, DSP Yakubu Sabo, assured motorists of adequate security on the highways, saying: “ With or without checkpoints, the police will be there on the highway to provide security. ”


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