By Christiana Ekpa
The House Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to set up a well-equipped, properly motivated Joint Security Task Force to address the multiple crimes such as kidnapping, banditry along Lokoja – Abuja highway;
The House equally urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to clear the bushes on the highway to prevent criminals springing from there to attack motorist;
It’s also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently commence the repair of bad spots on the road, especially between Abaji and Gegu;
The resolutions of the House followed a motion moved by Hon. Isah Shaba Ibrahim (Kogi PDP) titled Need to Address the Incessant Kidnappings in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi Sate and presided over by the Deputy Speaker Idris Wase at Tuesday Plenary.
Moving the motion, the Kogi Lawmaker said, the Kogi Local Government Area is situated on the ever busy Lokoja-Abuja highway which is very strategic by virtue of the status of Abuja as the nation’s capital city.
He said “Notes that ensuring security and welfare of the people is the primary purpose of government under section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999;
“Aware that as a result of alarming rate of kidnappings, killings and armed robberies in that area, more than 45 people were gruesomely murdered in over eighty four (84) cases reported between March 17 and December 5, 2019; as about 25 people were reportedly kidnapped between Ahoko and Adabo along the highway and in January, 2020 alone, more than 96 people were kidnapped and 12 people out of the number lost their lives, including a teenager;
“Also aware that farming activities in those villages are at the lowest ebb because of the fear of attacking the farms as kidnappings and killing have become perpetual events as such incidents are recorded on daily basis;
“Further aware that on 3 January, 2020, in Tawari Village alone, more than 21 people were brutally killed by unknown gunmen leaving about the hundred (100) others hospitalized while Beji village of same local government area was completely destroyed;
“Further notes that there are spots on the highway that are terribly bad and have become dens for kidnappers to flourish because motorists must slowdown in such spots, thereby making themselves easy targets and if repair works are not carried out immediately to allow free flow of vehicular traffic those dastardly acts will continue, a situation could result in famine in the affected communities which are largely agrarian;
According to him,” the essence of governance and the country’s image will continue to be eroded if kidnappings and baditry are not addressed with deserving seriousness more so as the busy nature of the highway coupled with its poor condition, particularly from Abaji to Gegu, facilitates the crime rate as neither motorists nor security agents have the opportunity of viewing distance to mitigate ambush of criminals” he said.
The House however mandated its Committees on Legislative Compliance and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance.