Last week, as usual, dare devil kidnappers had a successful outing on Kaduna to Abuja road.
These kidnappers stopped motorists, kidnapped their victims and killed those who attempted to escape. According to the villagers around the dangerous road, “the kidnappers had four successful operations where many passengers lost their lives and countless victims vanished into the kidnappers’ den”.
The return of the kidnappers to the very busy road is unfortunate and sad. This is come at a time when people are calling on the authorities to bring to an end the abduction of helpless passengers plying the road on daily basis.
The response of government to the rampant kidnapping on the Kaduna-Abuja road seems not encouraging. Although, there were deployment of some anti-robbery squad to some strategic positions which allayed fears among the people, their presence has failed to checkmate the activities of kidnappers.
The government should go beyond stationing police officers at every one or two kilometers of the road. Instead, there is the need for the deployment of modern technology such as drone which will monitor the movement of these kidnappers and locate their hideous. The audacity with which these kidnappers carried out their attacks and abducted their victims raised questions whether Nigerians are safe? If this road that links North-west states to the nation's seat of power can be frequently attacked by dare devil kidnappers with relatively ease, other roads in the country should become no go areas. Even with the return of train transportation which proved effective and safe, the kidnappers often attack train stations, scare and whisk away their victims. It seems the kidnappers are prowl these days. Can we attribute the increased rate of kidnapping activities to the recent #EndSARS protest that demoralised our men in uniform and keep them off the roads? It appears that some police officers are yet to recover from the aftermath of bloody #end SARS protests that rocked the country and therefore refused to report to work.
The Kaduna-Abuja road was recently deserted by travellers due to the activities of kidnappers, so also in Katsina and Zaria where bad news of abduction filtered the air. The Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic community in Zaria were thrown into confusion and sadness.
Kidnappers forcefully entered the staff quarters, fired shot and abducted a lecturer. In ABU community, the kidnappers also struck and kidnapped a lecturer and his wife. Nowadays, this has become the trending news both in social and conventional media.
What is really happening with our intelligence gathering? The kidnappers who operate along Kaduna – Abuja road are usually spotted in Gadan Malam Mamman and Rijana axis.
They have been operating there for long time. In saner climes, these spot areas would have been combed and those making life difficult arrested. However, the kidnappers are becoming more audacious, taking advantage of our fragile security network and operate with little resistance.
It has become imperative for government to strengthen its intelligence gathering, adopt community policing and above all deploy modern security gadgets such as drones and helicopters for effective policing.
Kidnapping is taking a dangerous dimension and government should move swiftly and contain it before it consumes the country.
Pambegua, Kaduna state