- DHQ says Abuja-Kaduna road not abandoned by motorists
The security agencies have informed the Kaduna State government that they have repelled armed bandits on Friday night along Rigasa-Link Road, in Igabi local government area in the State.
According to a press statement issued by the State’s Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the agencies stated that the armed bandits ambushed troops and security operatives patrolling Rigasa-Link Road at Rugar-Bello Junction.
The operatives added that it rescued two persons, Sahabi Lawal and Dan Aliko, while Sani Khalil is still missing. Similarly, the Armoured Personnel Carrier of the Police was riddled with bullets. The bandits, who were denied freedom of action, escaped while stray bullets hit two citizens driving from the Mando axis of the Rigasa-Link Road.
The security agencies further said the two citizens were rushed to the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, but sadly one of them, Rabi’u Awwal, died while the second citizen (Umar El-Khattab) is responding to treatment.
Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i has sent a condolence to the deceased’s family and offered prayers for the repose of his soul and wished the citizen recuperating a speedy recovery. He also commended troops and Police personnel that repelled the armed bandits and rescue of two citizens.
The troops and Police are still carrying out aggressive patrols in the general area.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday led journalists on tour of the road from Abuja to Kaduna to ascertain the validity of the recent claim by some section of the media that motorists had abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna highway because of insecurity.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said the tour was to enable the journalists have first-hand information on the security situation on the road, stating that the report is misleading. There were reports that there was noticeably normal movement of various types of vehicles on the road from Zuba to Kaduna.
The General Officer Commanding, (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, who also doubled as the Commander of the DHQ-led ‘Operation Thunder Strike’, said that the troops had continued to provide security on the highway.
Mohammed, said that successes have been recorded in the fight against kidnapping in spite of the recent incident, adding that the military had put in place adequate measures to keep the road safe and free for traffic flow.
In a related development, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has apologised to passengers that boarded the Abuja-Kaduna train which broke down due to failed locomotive along the route on Friday, leaving passengers along the route stranded.
The NRC’s Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, in a statement issued yesterday, pledged the corporation’s commitment to ensure there was no reoccurrences of such incident in the future and assured Nigerians that the failed locomotive would be fully operational tomorrow, Monday.