Despite the high level of crime along the Kaduna-Abuja road, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has listed it as the “safest road in Nigeria”.
Robbery, kidnappings and other forms of crime which happen frequently on the road have forced many to abandon it for trains.
But speaking with reporters at a meeting of security administrators on Thursday, the governor said security agencies have flushed out all those perpetrating illegalities on the road.
He said the air force has helicopters that constantly hover over the road, adding that the kidnappers that use to terrorise people there have all been “wiped out or chased deeper into the jungle”.
“In the last few months, there has been a 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” he said.
He added that the security agencies have also “changed their strategies. 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.”
The governor said the “high level of coordination and cooperation within the security agencies” which helped in addressing the situation.
“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 a 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 hover 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. So, the combination of these three things is what significantly reduced kidnapping, but it is not where it was at all. The level of security and safety has improved significantly.”