BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday said that the Kaduna-Abuja highway which hitherto gained notoriety as one of the most dangerous roads in the country is now the safest.
El-Rufai, who stated this while chatting with journalists after declaring open a Workshop on Security in Kaduna, said that the feat was made possible as a result of measures taken by his government in collaboration with security agencies.
The governor said that the kidnappers and bandits that were terrorizing the highway have been either killed or chased into the jungle.
He said that as a demonstration of how safe the highway is, no kidnap incidence has taken place on the road in the last two and half months, adding that the Kaduna State Government has amended its Penal Code since 2016 to make Kidnapping a capital offence.
El-Rufai said; “But in the last few months, there has been great reduction in cases of kidnapping. Though, it is a combination of issues, but I will like to give credit to our Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, because the creation of that ministry has raised the level of proactiveness in these issues.
“The second thing is that, the security agencies have changed their strategies from reaction to being proactive. So, they don’t wait until kidnapping takes place. They identify where the bandits are and they go and attack them. So, the bandits have been on the run. In the past, we wait until it happens and then, we start running helter-scepter.
“Thirdly, I think there is high level of coordination and cooperation within the security agencies. So, you find out that, the Air Force is in the air doing ISR, the intelligence surveillance and feeding the police and others on the ground with information. So, the level of cooperation has been enhanced and that has helped in dealing with these problems.
“A very good example is the Kaduna-Abuja road. The Kaduna-Abuja road has not witnessed a single incident of criminality or kidnapping in the last two and half months. But, many people still think it is not safe, they are not plying it and the rest. That road is the safest road in Nigeria today because of constant surveillance. The Air Force have helicopters and planes constantly over the road and they are feeding information, and the kidnappers that use to stay around the road have all been wiped out or chased deeper into the jungle.”
The Governor said the state has invested in the art of security equipment like drones and Closed Circuit Television Cameras to ensure that the state remain safe.
Earlier in his speech, Kaduna state commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said fundamental objective of Government is the security and welfare of its people.
“In the light of increasingly asymmetric nature of modern threats, the State Government adopted a new initiative to better manage internal security. This led to the creation of the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in July this year.”