Residents of Sabon Gaya community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State have appealed to the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the Kaduna-Abuja highway due to the incessant kidnapping of travellers and killing of innocent citizens along the highway.
The residents want the government to deploy more security personnel and helicopters to flush out the bandits from their hideouts.
Their request on Wednesday followed the gruesome murder of the Head of the Civilian Joint Task Force by suspected kidnappers on Sunday, last week.
The murder shocked and angered the people of the Sabon Gaya community and they blocked the Abuja-Kaduna highway on Sunday in anger, a decision that caused a gridlock that lasted for more than seven hours on the highway.
As far as the residents are concerned, the decision to block the road is justifiable as its objective was to draw the attention of the government to their plight.
They shared their views on the matter when the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, Salisu Fagge, visited the community.
Fagge was there to monitor the ‘show of force’ by the Kaduna Police Command, and interact with the locals in order to find the best way of stopping kidnapping and banditry along the highway and the neighbouring communities.
The AIG told the residents that the police have the capacity to end insecurity in the area, and warned them against taking laws into their hands to the detriment of others.
He said, “I’m here based on the instruction by IGP to talk to the people of Sabon Gaya over what happened on Sunday that led to the blocking of the road by angry members if the community to protest the killing of one of their sons who was a vigilante while working in his farm.
“I want to assure the members if the community that, we have the capacity and power to provide security. We want to enjoin you to always report happenings to the police who are willing to salvage the situation.
“Nobody is allowed to take laws into their hands. It is not in the best interest of anyone to block Kaduna-Abuja highway knowing its importance as linking road between the North and the South.”
He appealed to them to maintain the peace and contact the District Police Officer whenever the need arises.
“While we are trying to protect you, you also have a role to play to make us succeed greatly in this fight against crime,” Fagge said.
“We need information and intelligent to deliver better. Tell us where they are, how they are preparing, where they lie down and we will respond immediately. We don’t want to hear such a thing again not only in this area but everywhere across the zone.”
On behalf of his people, the traditional ruler of Gbagyi chiefdom, Danjuma Barde, thanked the security operatives for their efforts to safeguard lives and property of his people.
“We commend the efforts of our security men especially the police. But I want to tell you that, most of the killings happen in the bush when our people go to their farms. I want to plead with IGP Idris if he can help us to monitor the area using an helicopter. That will help us a great deal because the criminals do their evil work more outside the town,” he said.