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Rights group demands removal of checkpoints in Kaduna

President of the Congress, Shehu Sani in a letter addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff and a copy made available to Sunday Trust stated…

President of the Congress, Shehu Sani in a letter addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff and a copy made available to Sunday Trust stated that due sense of responsibility, patriotism and the desire to continue to promote peace, security and military-civil relations prompted the letter.
According to Sani, most of the points and routes where the check points were installed have not only become inaccessible, they have negatively impacted on business transactions and the economic growth of the state.
“It is no doubt a sad fact that the nation (and its security agents and agencies) had been extremely taxed and tasked (in their course of service to the nation), by increasing insecurity, terrorism and insurgency and the efforts to address it. Part of the strategies enforced to curtail these insecurity threats informed the installation of series of police and military check points in some strategic points within the metropolis and across Kaduna state.
“While the patriotic zeal and efforts of the security agents and agencies had been considerably yielding results, leading to the drastic reduction in cases of terror treats and strikes, the check points so installed have brought untold and unanticipated hardship to millions of law abiding and innocent people in the state,” he said.
Sani pointed out that most of the roads on which the concrete-laden drums were kept for long have been systematically weakened and unmotorable, noting that the CRC’s greatest concern is the cost of the checkpoints to human values, rights and conveniences.
“In most cases, aged women, nursing mother, women in labour, sick people and frail children are on daily basis forced to trek long distances after alighting from the motorcycle. Young men who made the slight mistake of not alighting before quickly were tortured, abused and dehumanized, the activist alleged.
Since the advent of democracy, he said, Nigeria’s military and its operations have continued to receive positive commendations, especially regarding its efforts to deepen democracy and enforce rule of law.
He, therefore, appealed to the authority to without reservation or restraint dismantle all the checkpoints and allow innocent and law abiding citizens enjoy the freedom of movement.
“As it dismantles the checkpoints, the military should also engage the community where these checkpoints are located to extract their contribution and cooperation toward the safety of all institutions and critical infrastructure of the government,” the letter further read.

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