Reps demand task force on Lokoja-Abuja highway

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the federal government to establish a joint security task force to address kidnapping and other forms of criminality along the Lokoja-Abuja highway.

The call followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Shaba Ibrahim drawing attention to the level of insecurity on the expressway.

Moving the motion, Rep. Ibrahim said that the security and welfare of the people was the primary purpose of government under Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.

The House member said the Kogi Local Government Area, situated on the ever busy Lokoja-Abuja highway was strategic by virtue of its nearness to the Federal Capital Territory.

He expressed concern over the increasing rate of kidnappings, killings and armed robbery on the highway, adding that more than 45 people have been killed in over 84 cases reported between March 17 and December 5, 2019.

“Twenty- five people were reportedly kidnapped between Ahoko and Adabo along the highway and in January 2020 alone, more than 96 people have been kidnapped and 12 people out of the number lost their lives, including a teenager.

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“Farming activities in villages in the area are at their lowest ebb because of fear of attacks as kidnappings and killings are recorded on a daily basis.

“On January 3, in Tawari Village alone, more than 21 people were brutally killed by gunmen leaving 100 others hospitalised while Beji Village in the same local government area was completely destroyed,” he declared.

The lawmaker noted that there were bad spots on the highway that provide opportunity for kidnappers to carry out their evil activities and demanded that kidnapping and banditry must be addressed with the seriousness they deserve.

Therefore, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to clear the bushes on the highway in order not to provide safe haven for criminals.

It also urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently commence repair of the bad spots on the road, especially between Abaji and Gegu.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the House Committees on Legislative Compliance and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance.

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