Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 21 December 2018 | 1,528 times
The National Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (NALBON) has called for a joint patrol of the highways by a team of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and armed Civil Defence personnel.
The National Chairman of the association, Mr Joseph Ejiofor, said that the surveillance and patrol, if carried out regularly, would help tackle the ugly trend of robbery attacks on the nation’s highways, especially during the yuletide season.
Addressing journalists on Thursday in Onitsha on the security challenges facing the group, Ejiofor said the call became imperative following the incessant attacks members and commuters plying the highways faced almost on daily bases.
According to him, the frequent attacks were affecting the economic and social activities of members and Nigerians in general.
While calling for the adoption of drastic measures to be adopted to overcome the security challenges, he said: “We have absolute confidence in the Nigeria Police to neutralize the activities of these fearless hoodlums, who have continued to terrorise our highways.
“An intensified patrol and surveillance on the nation’s highways will quell cases of armed robbery, kidnap and other violent attacks by hoodlums.
“They block the roads, divert vehicles and passengers into the thick bush unchallenged and unleash terror on their victims. Sometimes the victims are held for up to a week.
“Some of them at Benin By-pass even confessed to victims recently that they are Fulani herdsmen, who had lived in the bush for many years.
“They also claimed that security operatives know that they occupy these bushes and so, nobody will come to the rescue of the victims unless they part with ransom or they lose their lives.”
The chairman reeled out some of the major flashpoints where the criminals operate to include Benin By-pass, Omotosho-Ijebu Ode, Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Nassarawa, Makurdi and Elele-Port Harcourt highways, among others.
He further observed that the criminal elements operate unmolested with dangerous weapons including sophisticated guns and machetes.
Ejiofor described the recent killing of the former Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh as “a sad development and condemnable in all ramifications.”
He noted that Badeh’s killing was one of such dastardly acts of the highway hoodlums.
The chairman added: “The disturbing aspect of a recent Benin by-pass attack is that a victim, who returned from the United States of America vowed never to return to Nigeria unless the security condition improved,” he claimed.
“We, therefore, call on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to instruct police formations in the affected areas to protect lives and property under their jurisdiction.
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