Less than two months after National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu declared the Kaduna-Abuja highway safe, recent events suggest a resurgence of security challenges on the busy road.
Former Senator Shehu Sani revealed on Monday that kidnappers had blockaded the highway on Sunday night, leading to the abduction of an unspecified number of individuals. Two political associates narrowly escaped abduction, seeking refuge in the surrounding bush.
Sani expressed his dismay on social media, stating, “Just when we felt safer, yesterday, kidnappers returned to the Kaduna-Abuja road.”
Despite the incident, he acknowledged an increased security presence along the route but emphasized the unpredictability of the situation.
The resurgence comes in contrast to Ribadu’s November 2023 claim that the federal government had successfully eliminated security threats on the highway. During the 19th Annual Nigerian Editors Conference, he assured the public that travel from Abuja to Kaduna was safe.
However, recent reports indicate growing frustration among residents of Ida, Pashin, and Gidan Dogo communities around the Bwari axis of the road. Protests erupted, causing significant traffic disruptions as locals expressed concerns about the unchecked wave of kidnappings.
One protester lamented, “We can no longer sleep. Just this (Friday) morning, kidnappers kidnapped seven people from the Chitra community. Within the last two weeks, more than 20 people have been kidnapped unchallenged.”
The incidents raise questions about the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to curb insecurity on the vital Kaduna-Abuja highway, leaving residents and travelers anxious about their safety.