Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has declared that the Kaduna-Abuja highway which had gained notoriety in the past as one of the most dangerous roads in the country is now the safest because of measures taken by his state government in collaboration with security agencies.
He said, the kidnappers and bandits terrorizing the highway had been either killed or chased into the jungle.
Speaking with newsmen after declaring open a workshop on security in Kaduna, El Rufai said as a demonstration of how safe the highway is, no kidnap incidence has taken place on the road in the last two and half months.
The governor said the state has amended it’s penal code since 2016 to make Kidnapping a capital offence in Kaduna state.
According to him, “But in the last few months, there has been great reduction in cases of kidnapping. Though it is a combination of issues, but I will like to give credit to our Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, because the creation of that ministry has raised the level of proactiveness these issues.
“The second thing is that the security agencies have changed their strategies from reaction to proaction. So, they don’t wait until kidnapping takes place. They identify where the bandits are and they go and attack them; so the bandits have been on the run. In the past, we wait until it happens and then, we start running helter-skelter.
“Thirdly, I think there is high level of coordination and cooperation within the security agencies. So, you find out that, the Air Force is in the air doing ISR, the intelligence surveillance and feeding the police and others on the ground with information. So, the level of cooperation has been enhanced and that has helped in dealing with these problems.
“A very good example is the Kaduna-Abuja road. The Kaduna-Abuja road has not witnessed a single incident of criminality or kidnapping in the last two and half months. But, many people still think it is not safe, they are not plying it and the rest. That road is the safest road in Nigeria today. Because of constant surveillance; the Air Force has helicopters and planes constantly over the road and they are feeding information, and the kidnappers that use to stay around the road have all been wiped out or chased deeper into the jungle.” He said.
The Governor said the state has invested in the state of the art security equipment like drones and Closed Circuit Television Cameras to ensure that the state remain safe.
Earlier in his speech, Kaduna state commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said, fundamental objective of Government is the security and welfare of its people.
“In the light of increasingly asymmetric nature of modern threats, the State Government adopted a new initiative to better manage internal security. This led to the creation of the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in July this year.
“This creation of this Ministry has yielded some immediate positive results, notably the enhancement of collaborative efforts with security agencies. The Kaduna State Government is committed to complementing the efforts of the armed forces, the police and other national security outfits through logistics support, mobility, hardware and other means. Through this Ministry that commitment is being efficiently channelled.” He said.