A coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Friday staged a peaceful protest in Kaduna, calling on the federal government to shut down the Kaduna-Abuja train services over incessant kidnapping being experienced on the road.
Convener Yusuf Amoke while speaking with journalists during the protest said if the train is shutdown, those using its services especially, the top security officials, top politicians, will be compelled to ply the abandoned Kaduna-Abuja highway with their security details thereby sanitising the road.
He lamented that, the criminals have graduated from blocking highways to trailing people to their homes and kidnap them, adding, “The criminals block the roads randomly and massively move people into the bush and demand ransom from their family members irrespective of their financial status. Most of those who could not meet their demands are killed and set as example to frighten others to comply.
“This has consistently happened along the Kaduna – Abuja highway with the aperiodic situational intervention of the security that has turned out to be reactive instead of proactive measures that could ensure a total eradication of the menace.
“This ugly situation has led to the massive exodus of people from using the road which is termed “dangerous” to using the train service, even though it is relatively more expensive. This train service which was initiated to serve the general public (masses) has quickly been turned to an “elites ride” due to its level of security, leaving the poor masses without option but to use the road which is classified as one of the most dangerous roads in Nigeria.”
He further stated that it is worrisome to see top ranking security personnel up to the rank of General in the Nigerian Army and its equivalent, who are in the best position to fix the insecurity on the road, resulted to using the train service fearing to be victim of the road.
“The worst of all, is that tickets for the train now goes to the highest bidder. Top government officials like ministers, senators and head of agencies and parastatals have also left the road for the train services. The big question is, for how long would this continue?” he added.