By Uzair Adam Imam
Drivers in Nigeria decried the current security challenges bedevilling particularly the northwestern part of the country, saying the situation is gradually killing their business.
The Daily Reality report that bandits activity has claimed thousands of lives, destroyed property worth millions of naira and sacked many villages.
Some analysts believe that the incessant security challenges are politically motivated.
The recent Abuja-Kaduna train attack is one of many bloody attacks by bandits that forced the citizens to remain deeply pessimistic, not to mention commercial drivers plying roads in the restive region.
Our correspondent gathered that those abducted during the infamous train attack were taken to nearby bushes by the notorious, heartless bandits.
Twenty-four hours later, bandits blocked the Kaduna-Abuja highway and abducted dozens of travellers.
Drivers who spoke to The Daily Realty said the situation had done significant damage to their business, saying they are still in the business because they do not have an option.
A driver, Haruna Lawan Ahmad, recounted his bitter experience in dismay, saying sometimes they had to descend and run for their dear life on sighting the bandits.
Ahmad said, “We used to see terrible things on our way. Sometimes we have to alight and run away to save our lives after sighting bandits and come back later to take our vehicles after they finished their operations and abducted the ill-fated individuals.”
“There are roads that we can no longer follow, such as Birni Gwari of Kaduna State. Before, the drivers used to team up with the security personnel escorting them.”
“But sadly enough, even the security personnel stranded and accelerated their vehicle at high speed and run away from bandits.”
“Many of my colleagues and I remain in the business not because we are still passionate about it, but because we don’t have anything to do other than this driving,” he recounted.
Another driver, Idris Bamba, urged the government to come to their aid as the situation was getting out of hand.
He said, “Insecurity in the country is worsening day by day. We usually drive with uneasiness of mind. Before, I used to leave Abuja for Kano by 5 am and arrived around 11 am. But due to security issues, I no longer do that. Some of my friends have even moved to other businesses.”
A lecturer at the Department of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, Bayero University, Kano, Dr Mu’az Hassan Mu’az, said the incessant security challenge in Nigeria is quite unfortunate and sponsored by some scrupulous elements.
He said, “It’s quite unfortunate that these things are happening to the most peaceful and hospitable people in this country. Words cannot express how saddened our people are by the recent experience of attacks on innocent Nigerians.”
“The continued insecurity situation in this part of the country, mastered by people who are illiterates (Islamic and Western) and is sponsored by some scrupulous elements in our society who are selfish and never cared about their people, who worship money and have given up on the hereafter.”
“It’s quite unfortunate that the situation is getting worse day by day in spite of the huge investment in security by the federal government.”
“Many people see the train as the last resort and safe haven for the common people. He thought the warning attack on the train was treated with glove hands, and security was beefed up on the train operations to prevent subsequent attacks.”
“But it happened again, in a very terrible manner. Painfully, the minister of transport was quoted to have said he envisaged the attack but Federal Government did nothing to prevent it from happening. Our leaders should come back to their right senses.”
Dr Mu’azu added that the leadership of Nigeria is responsible for every Nigerian’s life. They must come back to their senses to face the problem squarely to the end.
He urged the authority concerned to provide aerial surveillance of the train routes from Kaduna to Abuja, engage every security stakeholder in the discourse of solutions to the menace of banditry n kidnapping, negotiate with the culprits and later deal with them silently, declare war against their residency in Nigeria and kill them all.
He said, “Let the authority concerned track and block their supplies of weapons, send a few security personnel on a secret mission, i.e. to be amongst them for some time, recruit locals to join in the fight against the bandits and block all their food supplies and medications.”