Barely two weeks after the dismantling of checkpoints across the country, luxury bus operators in Abuja have called for their re-introduction.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar had on February 13, ordered the removal all checkpoints throughout the country.
The General Secretary/PRO of the Luxury Bus Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Mararaba branch, Oluchukwu Chukwuji, made the call on Thursday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He described the experience of drivers following the removal of the checkpoints as “very dangerous and disturbing.”
“Armed robbers have taken over the abandoned police checkpoints on the highways, so the dismantling of the police checkpoints is not in our interest,” he added.
Mr. Chukwuji suggested that rather than allowing the highways to be devoid of such checkpoints, “regular and more sophisticated patrol teams should be back on the highways.”
“Better still, the army can be used instead of the regular police. They should be made to patrol the highways day and night, to safeguard the lives and property of the drivers and commuters.
“The most dangerous area, among other places, is the Okene-Asaba road, where armed robbers have been attacking motorists with impunity,” the general secretary said.
Also speaking, with NAN, the Transport Manager, Uche God Motors, Abuja branch, Tochi Igwilo, said: “If the police must be asked to go back to the checkpoints, there must be a no-nonsense monitoring team to check extortions.”
Mr. Igwilo said that “if this measure is adopted, both the vehicle operators and the commuters would have confidence over their safety on the highways.
“Our bus services operate mainly by nights because night journey is the best journey.”
“So there is the compelling need for the police security checkpoints to return to the highways both day and night without further delay.” Mr. Igwilo urged.
Mr. Igwilo argued that “the removal of the police checkpoints would not be the primary solution to the problem of corruption in the society.
They, however, declined to provide solution to the problem.
“The Acting Inspector General, we believe, knows what to do in this direction, to secure lives and property of commuters on the nation’s highways. We are not the ones to advise him on this.”