- Senators and Reps say they now move around without their official license plate numbers
- Lawmakers now also avoid traveling unless when absolutely necessary
- The lawmakers say they now avoid road travels which makes kidnapping easy for the abductors
After kidnapping of high-profile personalities in the country, Nigerian politicians have moved to protect themselves from being abducted, The Punch reports.
According to the report, one of the strategies many federal lawmakers now employ is to avoid being identified in public by blocking attention being drawn to them.
Others like senators and Reps members have shunned the use of official number plates on their vehicles to avoid.
The report quoted an unnamed member of the House of Representatives as saying that it is now dangerous to show off unlike in the past when it was prestigious and fashionable.
The lawmaker said: “Look around, how many members do you see using their number plates with ‘Rep’ boldly written and displayed?
“Before now, it was fashionable to do so. The number plates could open the way for you because it identified you as a VIP; but not anymore because of security concerns.
“These days, people do not want to be identified as lawmakers. When a member uses the official number plate, you will find out that it will be covered.
“Covering the plates ordinarily means that they are not riding in the vehicles, but the truth is that they are there in them.
“Generally, they want to keep a low profile. Some prefer that they are not noticed at all than for them to be noticed with a retinue of policemen, which draws attention.”
An unnamed senator also added: “Everyone is being careful not to draw attention to themselves because kidnapping is on the increase and you can’t know who is good and who is planning evil.”
Senator Adesoji Akanbi representing Oyo South Senatorial District said he has had to surround himself with bodyguards in order to keep safe.
And even though he dislikes the move, he is thinking of increasing his security detail to double his protective cover.
He also revealed that he now only goes for very crucial trips.
He said: “I believe that it is the duty of the government to protect lives and properties. Either as a lawmaker or not, the government owes you that duty. But being a lawmaker exposes you to such people (criminals) more and I believe that the onus is on all of us (lawmakers) to take our security seriously.
“Someone like me did not believe in going around with persons for security but right now, I have to start thinking about it. I didn’t believe that there was the need to move about with security detail, the reason being that I am loved in my constituency and connected with them.
“But it is getting beyond that now and we now have to take our security seriously. The law enforcement agencies must also support us lawmakers.”
Akanbi also said he does not travel by roads.
“Of course, road travels have disappeared on my radar especially now that the airports are operating. It is now suicidal to go on road trips unless something urgent happens and there are no flights.”
NAIJ.com had previously reported that worried by the increase in kidnapping, Inspector-General of police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris said it is high time Nigeria gets tough with punishments for kidnappers.
The Nigeria Police chief wants the punishment for kidnapping to be either of death or life imprisonment.
Idris made this comment while discussing about arrested billionaire kidnapper Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike aka Evans in a recent meeting with civil society organisations in Abuja.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of Nigerians sharing their opinion on what the government should do to arrested billionaire kidnapper Evans