Reduce checkpoints on Federal highways, Senate tells IGP

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The Senate on Thursday urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, to as a matter of urgency reduce the number of checkpoints on Federal Highways in the country.

The upper chamber also urged the IGP to direct officers of the Police Force to eschew all forms of extortion on motorists as alleged, while carrying out stop and search to establish validity of vehicle particulars.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday Ezrel Tabiowo the Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President.

He added that the Senate said this has become necessary to reduce the gridlock on the roads.

The resolutions were reached following the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

“Utazi, coming under order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, in his motion titled “National Security versus Disproportionate Road Checkpoints on Federal highways in the country”, said that the National Security architecture of Nigeria has been stretched beyond its elastic limits.

“According to him, acts of criminalities have put untold pressure on the country’s national security architecture, necessitating and compelling security agencies to confront security breaches headlong,” the statement read in part.

Utazi noted that as a consequence, the imposition of road checkpoints on almost all federal highways in all geo-political zones of Nigeria.

The lawmaker stated that while roadblocks are necessary to curb criminal activities, its abuse for unintended purpose is reprehensible.

He stated that the Senate “will not renege in our responsibilities when the masses of this country complain that government police meant to protect them has been turned into an oppressive conduct by those concerned and which the IGP and people of his ilk may not be aware.”

Meanwhile, the Senate has referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the appointment of the Chairman and Members of the National Hajj Commission to its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the request to the committee shortly after the commencement of plenary on Thursday.

The nominees for screening and confirmation are: Zikrullah Olakunke Hassan, Chairman, Osun State, South West; Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, Executive Commissioner – Operation, Inspection and Licensing; Nura Hassan Yakassai, Executive Commissioner – Policy, Personnel, Management and Finance, Kano State, North West, and Sheikh Momoh Suleman Imonikhe, Executive Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library, Edo State, South-South.

Part-time Members are Halimat Jibril, Niger State, North Central; Abba Jato, Borno State, North East; Garba Umar, Sokoto State, North West; Ibrahim Ogbonnia Amah, Ebonyi State, southeast; Sadiq Oniyesaneyene Musa, Delta State, South-South, and Akintunde Basirat Olayinka, Ogun State, South West.

Representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are: Shehu Dogo, Ministry of Aviation; Nura Abba Rimi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rabi Bello Isa, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Zainab Ujudud Sherrif, Ministry of Health; Aminu Bako Yarima, Nigeria Immigration Service, and Ibrahim Ishaq Nuhu, Central Bank of Nigeria.