The Lagos/Ibadan expressway kidnap

The last week Friday abduction and killing of travellers along the ever busy Lagos/Ibadan expressway around Sat Guru Maharaji about two kilometres away to the Old Toll Gate, Ibadan remains another sad commentary on our ever deteriorating security in and around the country.

During this unfortunate incident, a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Adigun Agbaje and two students of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) Abeokuta, one Aminat Taiwo and her friend, Tobi Orekoya and several others fell victim to the brutality of these animals-in-human skin and blood sucking vampires.

According to report, while one police officer attached to Oyo State command paid the supreme price during the encounter with these hoodlums, another one was also said to have been badly injured while some kidnapped travellers were also butchered by these kidnappers.

The kidnappers were said to have been about 30, armed to the teeth with AK-47 rifles and dressed in army camouflage with masks covering their faces to hide their identity.

One of the survivors while speaking on the incident disclosed that the journey from Abeokuta in the public commercial Sienna space bus had been without any challenge until about 5pm when they got to the Sat Guru Maharaji, approaching the city of Ibadan when they ran into the hands of these merciless beings and all hell was let loose.

Though, Prof Agbaje, Aminat, Tobi and many others had reportedly regained their freedom after parting with millions of Naira but their chilling narrative of what they went through before being set free just like other victims in the past will never make one to even pray that one’s enemies suffer such agony.

This ugly incident is coming just about a week when the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Sulaiman was attacked along Auchi road, Edo State when at least six souls were said to have perished including those of the security details guarding the man of God.

Around March 28, 2022 scores of train passengers involving about 41 families along Abuja-Kaduna were attacked by these daredevil terrorists and while many were injured with about two or three deaths including Barr Musa Lawal, the Secretary General of Trade Union Congress (TUC)  many of the victims did not regain their freedom until their families and friends rallied round to raise millions of naira as ransom.

In fact, the last batch of this deadly attack did not regain their freedom until about two weeks ago after spending six gruelling months in the gulag of these wicked souls.

It should be noted that less than two weeks ago, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada warned the nation of imminent attack by these blood sucking terrorists and these were accompanied by travel advisories and/or movement restrictions within Nigeria by nationals of the respective countries.

Although the public may not know the nature of the intelligence that led the US government and others to warn Nigeria of imminent violence, it is to be assumed that intelligence information must have been exchanged between the foreign missions and the Nigerian government.

In any case, the background to such warnings is clear to objective observers of insecurity in the country. The months leading to the warnings saw violent attacks by Boko Haram, bandits, gunmen, and kidnappers.

Of particular concern were the attacks on places of worship, the Nigeria Defence Academy, Correctional facilities, INEC offices, and the presidential convoy. Shortly before the warnings, there were reports of Boko Haram’s threat of more attacks on Abuja.

This scenario alone should have been enough for the Nigerian government to tighten its belts, especially as the 2023 presidential election campaigns kicked off, with million-man matches constituting soft targets for terrorists.

Besides, security warnings from major allies, such as the US, UK, Australia, and Canada, should have been taken very seriously, realising that they have much better access to intelligence than the Nigerian government does.

It is the strong opinion of many Nigerians that as we move towards the 2023 general elections, and even this period of the end of the year when activities are usually at the peak as people make preparation for Christmas and New year celebration, the government of the federation must be more decisive and firm to provide adequate security across the country.

For instance, all our major roads, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Benin highway, Lokoja-Abuja and many others from henceforth will begin to witness huge volume of traffic as many people make preparation to go spend end of the year holiday with their loved ones.

Those who are not travelling for holidays are on the road for quick business trips rounding up the year among others.

It’s against this background that Nigerians are calling for a total rejig of the country’s total security architecture such that everyone feels safe to move unhindered anywhere in the country.

It is considered a shame of the country being touted as the giant of Africa not able to show exemplary leadership in its internal security such that her citizens are always left at the mercy of the few undesirable elements.

President Muhammadu Buhari is urged to give marching order to all the security agencies to provide adequate protection to all travellers on Nigeria roads.

It is not a bad idea to co-opt the Amotekuns, vigilante and other security arrangements as put in place by some respective states to form a joint patrol with the police and the military that could help to provide adequate protection to travellers across the country.

It is believed that, though, the present administration had woefully failed in protecting Nigerians giving thousands of souls that had been lost to farmers-herders clashes, kidnapping, armed robbery and various acts of terrorism, yet it can begin to write a fresh record for itself when it truly begins to act in such a manner that could be considered of actually defending the sworn oath of providing security and welfare for teeming Nigerians.

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