Chairman , Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON), Mr. Emeka Mamah, has called on the Federal Government and police high command to build observatory police posts, manned by Mobile Police, along highways, to tackle the menace of criminals, especially kidnappers.
The association’s chairman also appealed to the government to urgently repair the bad portions of the highways as that was one of the factors aiding criminals who ambush motorists at the bad spots of the roads.
Mamah, who spoke during a press briefing in Lagos at the weekend, said the association was appalled and disturbed by the spate of killings and kidnappings on the highways.
“We are worried that many innocent motorists (including our passengers) are having harrowing experience of being kidnapped, maimed or killed on the nation’s highways. We condemn in its entirety this siege on the highways, which has instilled palpable fear in all motorists (our innocent passengers) on the roads. We also call upon the Federal Government to re-double its efforts in addressing this ugly development, as the safety and comfort of all motorists and travelling masses on the roads are in serious jeopardy.
“The siege on the nation’s highways by armed robbers and kidnappers has seriously affected (and is still affecting) our members’ businesses. Many people who ordinarily would have travelled by road now prefer travelling by air or cancel the trip entirely where they cannot afford the exorbitant price of air ticket. The result is the low passengers’ patronage, which in turn has affected our members’ capacity to replenish their fleet and enhance the growth of our members’ companies.
“The issue of insecurity on the nation’s highways across the country has been a major challenge for the association in the past decade. Since 2004, up till today, we have been holding series of meetings with virtually all the Inspectors-General of Police on how to tackle this problem. Also in 2005, a delegation of the association held a meeting with the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on how to address armed robbery attacks on our buses on the highway. In that meeting, one of the decisions that was taken was that police observatory posts, equipped with modern telecommunication gadgets, to be manned by mobile policemen, were to be built at some strategic locations on the highways to check the menace of robbery attacks on our buses on the nation’s highway.”