4th April, 2012
Some members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) on Tuesday called for the return of police check-points on major highways nationwide.
The lawmakers said the move was necessary to prevent the heinous activities of armed robbers currently on the prowl on the highways.
Their call came on the heels of reports that a luxury bus conveying secondary school girls from Enugu to Lagos was attacked by armed robbers on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway.
Mr. Segun Olulade, a lawmaker from Epe II, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the dismantling of police check-points had led to the return of more criminals.
Olulade, Chairman, Committee on Information, Security and Strategy of the state assembly, said that the presence of policemen at check-points in the past had created a sort of sanity compared to the current situation after the removal.
“The presence of the policemen at the check-points has created a sort of sanity in our roads compared with what is going on right now.
“The rate of crime has increased and we need to curb such activities. In our country today, people are moving round freely now committing crime. The crime rate has started going up and we must stop it,” he stated.
The assemblyman said that the IG should have put an alternative measure in place before dismantling the check-points, especially in the face of current security challenges in Nigeria.
He suggested the installation of security equipment and gadgets like the CCTV nationwide for easy identification of perpetrators of crimes.
Reacting to the alleged rape of the school girls on the highway, Olulade called for stiffer penalty for rape.
He said that the fight against rape was a collective responsibility of all.
Also commenting on the alleged rape, another lawmaker, Mr. Yusuf Ayinla (ACN Mushin II), described it as pathetic and called on the police to track down the perpetrators.
Ayinla said that it was inhuman for anyone to rob and rape children regarded as future leaders.
On calls for the return of police check-points, the lawmaker said he was in support of advocates of the return of the police to the highway.
“I am in total support that the security check-points should be back in place until the Federal Government was able to put in place proper security gadgets network like in overseas,” he said.
Ayinla said policemen should be returned to the highways with some modifications that would allow for the comfort of motorists.
“Government should not play politics with the security of life, especially at this critical period of security challenges in the country,” he added.
In his contribution, Mr. Ahmed Omisore (ACN Ifako-Ijaiye II), said the return of the police to the highways would curb incessant highway crime.
Omisore said that the absence of security personnel on the road posed more threat to motorists.
“Motorists are no longer safe driving from one place to another; some are harassed by hoodlums while some are robbed and raped along the highway.”