Kogi House of Assembly has decried the spate of kidnapping and armed robbery on the state highways and called on the state government to set up a joint security taskforce to check the menace.
The House made the call at plenary on Friday in Lokoja, following the adoption of a motion on a matter of urgent public importance raised by Kilani Olumo (APC-Ijumu) on the high rate of kidnapping on Kabba-Obajana road.
Olumo had told the House that the fear of kidnappers was now the beginning of wisdom for most travelers plying the road in that axis and emphasised the need to set up a 24-hour security joint surveillance on the road.
He said that despite efforts by the state government at ensuring the security of lives and properties, the challenge of kidnapping and armed robbery had continued unabated.
Seconding the motion, Cosmas Atabo (APC-Igalamela-Odolu) said that all the efforts of Gov. Yahaya Bello in his first tenure at securing the lives and property of the people were being eroded as a result of the security menace.
Atabo, however, called for an amendment to the motion, by asking that it should include Ajaokuta-Itobe-Anyigba and Lokoja-Abuja highways for a holistic programme by the state government to nip the menace in the bud.
“It should be across the state and not just one part. As representatives of the people, it is incumbent on us to reduce the security threat to the barest minimum,” he said.
Edoko Moses-Ododo (APC-Dekina-Biraidu) while supporting the motion said the issue of kidnapping had become endemic in the state.
The legislator said that it became more frightening when four security men from the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were abducted by kidnappers at Ofoke, on Anyigba-Itobe road, on their way to Makurdi for promotion examination.
“It is now worrisome that the people we are supposed to run to are themselves no longer safe in this onslaught against the people. We have to redouble our efforts in collaboration with the state government to reduce or totally eradicate this menace,” he said.
Also speaking in support of the motion, Atajachi Musa (APC-Idah) called for a holistic approach to the security matter, saying all parts of the state were no longer safe for travellers even as people could no longer sleep with their two eyes closed.
Mr Matthew Kolawole, the Speaker of the House, in his ruling on the motion, thanked Olumo for moving the motion saying, “We are all aware that things are not normal security wise.
“If the kidnappers can abduct four NSCDC members, who then cannot be moved”.
He, therefore, called on the Chairman, House Committee on Legal and Judiciary to reinforce the state laws on kidnapping and armed robbery.
Kolawole called on traditional rulers to also set up their own internal security mechanisms to identify and expose criminals in their various communities and neighbourhood.
“All our roads are not safe, our farmers can no longer go to the farms. Even in their various homes, people are being kidnapped.
“Let us put our brains together to assist the government in setting up our own security outfit under whatever name to guarantee security of lives and property in our state,” Kolawole said.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran and Isaac Ukpoju