Insecurity: Low turnout as passengers shun Kaduna-Abuja road | Dailytrust

Insecurity: Low turnout as passengers shun Kaduna-Abuja road

Security agents inspecting late Alhaji Sagir Hamidu’s vehicle along Abuja-Kaduna Highway before it was towed to Katari Police Station. Inset: The blood-stained interior
Security agents inspecting late Alhaji Sagir Hamidu’s vehicle along Abuja-Kaduna Highway before it was towed to Katari Police Station. Inset: The blood-stained interior

There were few passengers that made the trip to Abuja from the Kawo Motor Park in Kaduna on Tuesday after bandits opened fire on motorists plying the road on Sunday and Monday. 

The Sunday’s attack had claimed the life of a former Director of Protocol in the FCT and a 2019 governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sagir Hamidu, while many people could not be accounted for.

When our reporters visited the Kawo Park which is the major point of convergence for travellers coming from the North West to the Federal Capital Territory and beyond, there was little activity at the section of Kaduna to Abuja.

The situation was the same with drivers at Zuba Garage in Abuja as they lamented insecurity on the road.

 A driver, Moses Uche, said Nigerians are being terrorised, kidnapped and killed without let on the road. 

“The government knows what to do. We have been complaining but nothing has been done. They know what is happening. It seems they derive pleasure in seeing the citizens suffer,” Uche said.

Another motorist who identified himself as Baba Ramatu said despite the recent occurrence, he had to convey passengers to Kaduna in order to feed his family.

An official in Kawo informed Daily Trust that only a few passengers had made the trip by road through the Kawo Park since the recent attacks. 

“Following Sunday’s attack, the park is very dry and only 15 vehicles departed which used to be at least 20 before 3pm. Drivers ferry passengers to Abuja till in the night but it’s evening now and we don’t know if the remaining cars will be able to make it.”

He added that the disruption of the network in some parts of Kaduna contributed to the high number of people abducted on Sunday.

He added that the number could have been less if there was a network as those on the road would have called to inform others.

A driver, who simply gave his name as Shamsu, however, noted that the brazen attacks would not stop him from taking passengers through the road as that was his only means of livelihood.

However, a student of Federal University, Dutsinma, Sani Ibrahim, said he was not aware of the attack due to the lack of telecommunication network in his school.

For him, nowhere is safe in the country and since he has no other alternative, he would go through the route as it is the only way to see his family again.

Another passenger, Usman Abdullahi, opined that the cause of the kidnapping and banditry on the road was due to its bad condition.

“If the road is good, then adequate security should be there too. With this, the security challenges on the Abuja-Kaduna road will be reduced,’” he said.

A crosssection of train passengers in Abuja said the news on renewed kidnapping on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway was troubling. 

The majority of them who spoke to one of our correspondents said that the security situation on the road was the major driving force for them to use the train. 

 A passenger who gave his name as Mohammed Ibrahim said, “Security is my biggest consideration using the train. It’s a lot more expensive for me using the train considering how much I spent to get to the train station at Idu.

“So I will spend between N4,000 and N5000 plus my train tickets to get to Kaduna. If I’m to go by road,  I will spend about N3,000. But I’d rather spend more than risk the uncertainty on the road.” 

Another passenger, Malam Audu, said he had postponed his trip last week when the train staff went on strike, adding, “I can’t risk it. It (train) is safer for me.” 

However, another passenger, Ibrahim Abdul, was a bit more indifferent. 

“I still travel to Kaduna when I can’t make it to the train station. I just pray and hit the road. I understand the fear of the road but I still use the road from time to time,” he said.  

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