Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has dismissed Senate’s resolution that the Abuja-Kaduna Highway is the most dangerous road in Africa.
The governor insisted the road is now safe for travellers.
El-Rufa’i said this when he addressed State House Correspondents, after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at Aso Rock, Abuja, yesterday.
Senate had, on May 8, resolved the Abuja-Kaduna highway as the most dangerous road in Africa; due to the activities of kidnappers and armed bandits operating on the expressway.
Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, had, while contributing to a motion on the “Urgent need to increase the number of coaches on the Abuja-Kaduna railway line,” labeled the aforementioned highway as one of the most dangerous in Africa.
In his contribution, Senator James Manager, from Delta State, countered him and said the highway cannot be one of the most dangerous but the most dangerous road in Africa.
Regardless, El-Rufai said: “If you believe everything that comes out of Nigeria’s senate, you will have serious mental health problems.
“There are things that are said there that are just for the gallery, for the media. I don’t know what statistics that were used to determine that the Abuja-Kaduna road is the most dangerous road anywhere.
“ I like facts, I like using figures; I wish the people who said that would produce figures. I’m saying that no matter what anybody said, last week, I’m assuring Nigerians that the Abuja–Kaduna road is quite safe now and will be so, following the measures put in place by the various security agencies.”
The governor, who said he was not assuring absolute safety for travellers plying the road, maintained that only God can guarantee total safety.
“But, I’m saying, as the governor of the state, based on the security measures put in place, I’m confident that the road is safe, and I drive on that road,’’ he added.
On comments which trailed his recent remarks where he said godfathers must be retired in politics, El-Rufai dismissed the insinuation that he was referring to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
El-Rufai insisted he had no dispute with anyone as being insinuated but added that the template on retirement of godfathers in Kaduna could be applied anywhere in the country and, “it will work.”
On his part, Governnor Samuel Ortom of Benue, who also spoke to journalists, after meeting the president, also behind closed-doors said he updated Buhari on the latest security developments in the state.
On the recent communal clashes in Katsina-Ala and Gboko Local Government Areas of the state, Ortom said the affected communities have resolved to cooperate and live in peace with one another.
“The situation now is that the entire communities met with me and other security council members and they are now willing to cooperate. The challenge is that one notorious criminal popularly called Gana, who was trained by Boko Haram, is the one terrorising them.
“He is instrumental to the kidnappings that have been happening between Benue and Taraba states and all forms of criminality that are going on–robbery, assassinations, and so on.
“We are going to move against them using ‘Operation Wild Stroke’ and, we believe we are going to surmount that,’’ he said.
On the state’s anti-open grazing law, the governor disclosed that no fewer than 400 herdsmen have been apprehended for violation of the law.