In compliance with the president’s directive that all military checkpoints should be dismantled nationwide, the military has withdrawn all its personnel manning the roadblocks.
This is even as the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, has hinted that he will deploy additional 158 patrol vehicles on the highways across Nigeria to takeover where the military has left.
IGP Arase had two months ago deployed 350 patrol vehicles on the highways to replace police roadblocks, which he banned on the basis that they have constituted nuisance on Nigerian roads.
On the Keffi-Abuja Highway, Nigerian Pilot observed that the soldiers manning Kugbo military checkpoint had removed all the drums they used in narrowing the road. Although the soldiers were still at the checkpoint as at yesterday morning, they did not carry out the usual stop-and-search on vehicles.
The situation was not different on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and Abuja-Lokoja Expressway.
In Jos, the Plateau State capital, it was noticed that as early as 7.30am yesterday, some security operatives, especially those of the police, supervised the removal of sandbags and signposts, usually mounted by the military as shields.
It was learnt that the road from Muritala Mohammed to Terminus, closed since May 20, 2014 when two bomb blasts killed over 200 people in the crowded Terminus Market, had been reopened.
IGP Arase told reporters in Abuja on the sideline of the stakeholders’ consultative meeting on improving police response to sexual and gender-based violence and gender mainstreaming, that despite the withdrawal of the military from the highways, the police would synergise with the military in regards to maintenance of security checks on the roads.
He said an additional 158 police patrol vehicles would fill the vacuum that has been created with the dismantling of military roadblocks on the highways to curb terrorism, armed robbery and kidnappings.
Arase said: “We are deploying 158 patrol teams in addition to the 350 teams that were earlier deployed across the nation, to enable us secure the highways more effectively; this is meant to fill the vacuum created by the dismantling of military checkpoints. The police cannot cover the security space alone and that is why we want to involve everybody. We are organising a national summit on security where we will partner every stakeholder. Community partnership is very important because when you want to dominate security space, you would have to deploy your strategy.”

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