.Chapter Two of 1999 Constitution

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives from Kaduna State have raised an alarm over the security threats, kidnappings and killings along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Speaking under the aegis of the Kaduna caucus at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, the lawmakers said that the situation was frightening.

Hon. Garba Datti who read the text of their address called on the security agencies to deploy personnel on the roads to tackle the menace.

“The state of insecurity in Nigeria has been a matter of grave concern to all well-meaning patriots for several years now and that this has come in the form of militancy, insurgency and banditry, amongst others. 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.

“Not so long ago, there were concerning 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 (5) days, it has reached its deplorable and lamentable peak as a spate of attacks, killings, abductions, kidnappings and robberies has engulfed the Abuja-Kaduna Highway has resulted in a crisis of frightening and calamitous proportions. On Sunday 21st November, 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 (FCDA) and a Governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, Hamidu Sagir was brutally killed while 4 yet to be ascertained number 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.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that security is one of the paramount policies of the current administration for which it has left no stone unturned towards neutralising the scourge. In addition, 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. Indeed, the Abuja Kaduna highway is 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 security state of the Abuja-Kaduna Highway must be restored at once.

“Let us add that the perpetuation of this state of insecurity on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway as well as the many other highways in this country challenges the Nigerian State in terms of its obligations to Nigerians to guarantee the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government pursuant to section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“Also, the killings and maiming on our highways severely infringe upon the right to life of Nigerians as guaranteed under section 33(1) of the Constitution. 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.

“We shall encourage and support every effort by the House of Representatives, and indeed the National Assembly and every agency of Government towards ensuring the restoration of calm and peace along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway”, Datti read.

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