The menace of kidnapping for ransom on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway has been on the increase in recent years. The 211- kilometre stretch of highway linking the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and the North Western part of Nigeria despite its socioeconomic importance to road users has now become a nightmare. Worse still, kidnappers and armed bandits on the highway are getting fiercer in their modus operandi.
At the onset of the kidnapping for ransom on the road, there were reports of the criminals blocking roads with the sole aim of bringing motorists to a halt and then whisking unfortunate victims to their hideouts.
Penultimate Tuesday, there were reports of kidnappers shooting sporadically at motorists and in the process killing two persons and injuring scores while some were kidnapped.
Residents of communities along the expressway like road users also live in constant fear of armed criminal groups terrorising the area. Despite the presence of policemen on the highway, kidnappers appear to be having the upper hand as hardly a week passes without reports about kidnapping of defenceless citizens. It is worthy of note that victims of kidnappers on the highway cut across all strata of the Nigerian society as well as foreign nationals.
Although, the Police and personnel of the Nigerian Army have been conducting raids, sadly, incidents of kidnapping and armed robberies on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway like in other parts of the country are worsening. As a way out of this and by implication other security challenges in the country, we call on security agencies in the country to as a matter of urgency do more in the area of intelligence gathering with a view to being proactive and nipping such crimes in the bud. Besides, it is imperative to note that tackling insecurity on the highway requires the cooperation of all and sundry, especially in the area of providing useful information to security agencies. Furthermore, security agencies should strengthen their synergy with a view to effectively combating crimes in the country.
The time to stop the incidents of kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway is long overdue.
However, it is still not too late to do the needful.