Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead of the end of year festivities, the House of Representatives, on Thursday, directed the police and other security agencies to dismantle multiple checkpoints on highways and roads leading to, and within, the southeast geo-political zone.
The House equally urged the various security agencies to collaborate with one another in the discharge of their duties in the South East and avoid duplicating efforts in the zone.
The Green chamber also directed the Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency( FERMA), to immediately remove all abandoned makeshift roadblocks/security checkpoints and debris from the roads and highways leading to and within the zone to facilitate free flow of traffic.
This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Obinna Chidoka, under matters of urgent public importance, on multiple checkpoints on highways leading to the South East and within the zone.
Chidoka, in his lead debate, said over the years the various security agencies, including Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, as well as the Federal Road Safety Corps, have maintained multiple makeshift roadblocks/security checkpoints on roads and highways leading to and within the South East.
The lawmaker noted that the development has resulted in avoidable traffic buildup on the roads and untold hardship to motorists and other road users in the area, especially during festive periods.
According to him, “these multiple makeshift roadblocks/security checkpoints, couple with the terrible condition of roads leading to and within the south east region, are causing unnecessary traffic buildup with untold hardship on road users, including the sick and elderly ones, requiring emergency medical attention or evacuation.
“..these makeshift roadblocks/security checkpoints with used tires, timber and metal barricades are often left on the roads and highways when not in use, which creates hazards for unsuspecting motorists, especially at night, and that in some cases are reportedly used by armed robbers who rob and terrorize road users at odd hours.”
Chidoka expressed concerns ” that issues of the hardship suffered by motorists and other road users as a result of multiple makeshift security checkpoints on the roads leading to and within the south east region, have been widely published in both the print and electronic news media, as well brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities, by the civil society organizations and other respected leaders of thoughts from the South East and that the authorities have neglected to address these issues.”