The ever busy Rabah road, which serves as a link road to the official residence of the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), as well as to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Club also known as NAF club, was yesterday brought to a halt as mounted military checkpoints caused heavy traffic in the area.
This was just as residents in the state were celebrating Eid-el-Fitr amid fear and tight security as more military and police checkpoints have been mounted with efficient and effective stop and search techniques leaving motorist and motorcyclists groaning due to the slow pace of traffic flow.
Due to the heavy traffic, motorists had to make quick diversions to other link roads in order to escape the traffic caused by the checkpoints, even though some government officials were not subjected to any search.
Motorists were instructed by the military personnel to come down and open their boots and bonnets for check, even though not all motorists were subjected as it seemed there was a kind of selection of the people to be exempted.
Motorists lament that the checkpoints in the state are becoming unbearable.
“I don’t know what the government thinks this will solve, just two weeks ago a suicide bomber tried to cause havoc, if not for God’s intervention that the bomb exploded before time, I am sure, they would have passed the military checkpoint at Unguwan Sarki and gotten to their destination successfully,” says one of them, “The government should know that these checkpoints will not solve the problem; it will only make the people more agitated. I want to use this opportunity to call on the GOC 1Division to take his men off the streets so that we the residents can have free flow of traffic. Imagine if there was panic here right now and people urgently needed to clear the road or if there was a bomb in sight, how will the people be evacuated with this kind of traffic!”
When contacted, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relation 1 Division, Colonel Sani Usman said the checkpoints are snap and routine checks, adding that the main objective of the army is to secure lives and property.
“NAF club is a commercial enterprise, so why should we bother about who goes in and out, so we respond to the security challenges as we see them. Just recently we distributed suicide bomb vehicle stoppers to the leadership of CAN and JNI so that they too in their capacity can aid in security their places of worship, any means that are lawful we will implore them in securing the lives and property of the citizenry,” he stressed.