Commuters Decry Activities of Security Personnel At Checkpoints



Some Commuters have expressed displeasure over activities of security personnel at the checkpoints linking Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The commuters who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja, said the operation was inimical to the social and physical distancing policy, causing traffic jams and inconveniences.

They also alleged that the operatives were also engaged in extortion, causing hardships for commuters and making a mockery of a policy that was aimed at protecting citizens.

They noted that going by the alleged illegal activities of the security personnel at the roadblocks, the desired results would not be achieved.

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The commuters, therefore, called on the Federal Government to review security arrangements at the area.

They also described as unusual, the number of militaries, paramilitary and police personnel at the checkpoints on all the routes leading into Abuja from Nasarawa State.

Mrs Aina Adesida, a civil servant who resides in Masaka, Nasarawa State, noted that the presence of security agents on the road was causing more problems, rather than solving any issue.

According to Adesida, she always gets to the checkpoint by 6.30 a.m. and it will take her between one to two hours before she could drive through the checkpoint.

She attributed the delay to the care-free attitude of the security personnel at the checkpoints points.

“The problem is that they are too many at the checkpoints, and so they issue different contradicting directives.

“At a time an officer will say block the road while another will say narrow it to one lane, while another will come and divert the motorists to another direction, causing lots of confusion,’’ she said.

Mr John Bamaiyi, a civil servant, also complained of alleged maltreatment of people on the road by the security personnel, causing people to spend one to two hours at the Checkpoints.

Bamaiyi said it was unfortunate that a journey that should have ordinarily taken 15 minutes from Mararaba Orange market to the checkpoint would take more than an hour.

Also, a top government official who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the indiscriminate police checkpoints on the highways and adjacent roads from Nasarawa to FCT, was causing a lot of problems.

He said the situation was worse mostly in the evening when civil servants and other road users were returning from their workplaces.

He said towards the closing time when the traffic would be high, road users would be subjected to temperature checks for hours unending in the sun.

NAN also observed that in the afternoon the four lanes would be narrowed to one lane, creating long queues.

Another user, medical personnel who simply identified himself as Dr Boniface, noted that the activities of the personnel were detrimental to the government’s efforts at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Boniface said relevant agencies at the checkpoint must review their operations to save the public from inconveniences and spread of the virus.

He urged the Federal Government to abolish the checkpoints or design another method to alleviate people’s suffering and the spread of the virus.

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