From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
There was palpable tension among the residents of Kaduna and motorists plying Kaduna-Zaria Highway over Monday night’s deadly attack that left four people, including the lawmaker representing Giwa West and Chairman House Committee on Local Government in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rilwanu Aminu Gadagau, dead.
Kaduna-Abuja highway, Kaduna-Birni Gwari road, Kaduna-Zaria road and Kaduna-Kachia road have all had their fair shares of the nefarious activities of bandits, who have been responsible for the killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping of scores of residents and travellers.
Kaduna state has the highest presence of military and other security formations, which include but not limited to 1 Division Nigerian Army, Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigerian Air Force Base, Nigerian Aviation College, Zaria, Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, which ordinarily ought to have translated it into a more secured state.
Unlike Kaduna-Abuja road, where there is rail transport alternative, motorists plying other roads that connect Kaduna town are on their own.
This sad reality is increasing tension among travellers, at least, until they reach their destination within and outside the state as their journey may be.
“Whenever I travel along Kaduna-Zaria road and get close to Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic and the Gwagwaje axis of that road, my heart beats faster,” a Kaduna-based civil society member said in confidence.
Although both the Kaduna State Police Command and State’s Ministry for Internal Security and Home Affairs were yet to give the details of the affected persons in this latest episode, a statement from the Kaduna State House of Assembly said the lawmaker’s body was identified in a morgue where he was deposited after the Monday night’s attack on motorists along Kaduna-Zaria road.
Speaker of the House, Yusuf Ibrahim Zailani, through his Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani, informed that the remains of the slain politician were discovered in a morgue yesterday, “suspected to have been one of those killed by bandits on Monday night along Kaduna-Zaria Highway.”
Zailani prayed for Almighty Allah to grant the state, Assembly and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and grant him eternal rest.
“Our prayers at this time go to his immediate family. Honourable Gadagau was a young and dynamic lawmaker, who had a passion for his constituency, state and Nigeria. We will miss his vibrant contributions.
“Our hearts also go out to those kidnapped in the same operation, believing that they would be rescued by security operatives as soon as possible. His death is “devastating, sad and painful,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, in his Facebook page, yesterday, called for concerted efforts to end the banditry activities in the North West.
He said: “I’m deeply shocked at the gruesome murder of a young and dynamic member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rilwanu Gadagau, by terrorists on the Kaduna-Zaria expressway. The perpetrators of this heinous act must be fished out and the full weight of the law brought to bear on them.”