By Umar Muhammad Puma
Worried by high traffic congestion on the major highways into the Federal Capital Territory, the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to introduce explosives detection devices/portals on the highways in place of the manual checkpoints.
The House also mandated its committees on the national security to meet with the security chiefs with the aim of forging a better appreciation of what is needed to effect these changes at the checkpoints.
In a motion moved by Rep Emmanuel Jime (APC Benue), said that the manual checkpoints ,with recent happenings in the country, constituted a security risk to commuters.
Rep Jime noted that the use of detectors, including radiation detecting portals, would reduce the congestion caused by these checkpoints and offer a more reliable form of detecting explosives and other weapons.
While moving the motion, he added that, “the checkpoints being erected at various points on the highways do not have metal devices that can detect explosives, rather the security agents manually vet and search vehicles passing through the checkpoints”.
The lawmaker stressed further that, “this archaic and cumbersome method leads to serious traffic congestion on the major highways into the Federal Capital Territory”
According to him, “This manual method of conducting checks constitutes a serious security threat on its own, as it leads to a massive build-up of vehicles at one point, thereby leaving several lives at the mercy of a suicide bomber who could easily drive a vehicle-laden with explosive devices into the thick of the congestion, for his ungodly act”.
When the motion was put to vote by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session, it was unanimously supported by the majority of the lawmakers.