Travellers beware! Robbers, kidnappers now mount roadblocks on Abuja-Kaduna expressway
There is tension on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, which links Kaduna and Niger states to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as robbers and kidnappers attack motorists, especially in the evenings.
Our correspondent learnt that the assailants, who wield guns and cutlasses, mount roadblocks in at least two of the seven areas along the expressway, which are Tafa, Jere, Idah, Kateri, Gidan Bussa, Akilibu, Doka and Rijanna communities.
It was gathered that the robbers and kidnappers also set fire to woods, putting nails on them to stop motorists.
Some of the motorists, who spoke with our correspondent, alleged that police presence was poor on the road, adding that sometimes, the policemen parked their vans and disappeared to night joints.
One of the motorists, a driver with a newspaper company, who identified himself only as Emmanuel, said the robbers attack on Wednesday forced motorists to drive “one-way.”
He said, “On Wednesday, the robbers were in Doka and they set fire to logs of wood. Sometimes, the robbers relocate to Gidan Busssa. All the places are under Kateri Police Division. There was a time two weeks ago, when I met some policemen in Gidan Bussa relaxing in their van in that night and when I reported the robbery going on to them, they said they did not have petrol in their van.
“Also, there is a camp belonging to a church, Winners Chapel, in Alheri area, just 30 kilometres to Kaduna. These robbers usually disturb the peace of the expressway around that camp, especially when there is a church vigil. It was in Kateri that the tyre of my bus climbed nails and burst. It was a terrible experience. I had to drag the bus to safety from the robbers.”
Another motorist, who identified himself as Ahmed, said the spate of kidnapping on the expressway was worrisome.
He said, “The kidnappers are armed to the teeth and they stop vehicles indiscriminately to determine whether there is a VIP to be kidnapped. You will recall that it was the same road where a federal lawmaker was abducted a week ago.
“The kidnappers disguise like herdsmen, and they suddenly jump into your path with logs of wood bearing nails, forcing their victims’ vehicles to stop and risk an accident.”
The Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Usman, denied that there was no police presence on the expressway, adding that nobody reported any kidnapping case to the police.
He said, “I can confirm that the police usually patrol those areas. I was still there two days ago. We did not have record of any kidnapping reported at the police station. If anyone has evidence, let them formally report to the police.”Punch