Operators of commercial vehicles and passengers in Kaduna have taken to observing congregational prayers for protection from kidnappers before take-off.
A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited some motor parks within Kaduna metropolis on Wednesday, reports that praying before departure had been the norm in the past, but had never been taken seriously like now.
Mr Thompson Bala, an official of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at Sabo park, told NAN that the need for divine intervention from the hands of kidnappers, especially along Kaduna-Kafanchan road, had never been as desirable as now.
“In the past, prayers before any journey used to be at passenger’s discretion, but now, drivers are advised to take such prayers with utmost seriousness.
“Lately, it is the drivers themselves that seek for volunteers from the passengers to pray before they take off,” Bala said.
Mr Emmanuel Jatau, a commercial driver, said that the issue of insecurity, especially along Kaduna-Kafanchan road, had become worrisome, as such, seeking divine intervention was necessary.
Jatau noted that it was the faith in the prayers observed before take of that gave drivers the confidence to embark on journeys, even with the increase in incidents of kidnapping on the highways.
“Once the prayers are observed, we leave everything in the hands of God to take control.
“We can not do otherwise because this business, besides meeting transportation needs of the people, is our source of livelihood,” he added.
Miss Lami Dogo, a student and passenger at Television park, Kaduna, told NAN that she always volunteered to lead the prayer whenever she traveled in a commercial vehicle.
“I used to say my personal prayers, but lately, except someone does it before me, I volunteer to lead the prayer before take-off of any journey,” Dogo said.