‘Safer highway’ security initiative of the Nigerian Police is one effective mechanism created by the former administration of Solomon Arase to check increasing criminality on the nation’s motorways. It is a highly mobile and motorised police lock- down that gives security presence and also checks highway robberies, illegal movement of terrorist within the country, haulage of illicit drugs, explosives, arms and ammunitions as well as check the increasing menace of kidnappers.In short, it is the alpha and omega of security on our motorways. The apparatus is a replacement of the notorious road blocks and police check points previously mounted on the highways. As a well conceived and nurtured unit, it has served the purpose for which it was founded, carrying out efficient policing on the highways and expectedly from its accomplishments, the Nigerian motoring public has accepted it; they expressed this satisfactoriness by the ease with which motorists and commuters journey safely to their respective destinations. Motorists now heave a sigh of relief each time they journey through the roads.
With resounding successes, no one doubts the capability of the outfit in ensuring prolonged security of lives and property on the highways if the new police administration sustains and improves the blueprint (men and logistics) upon which it was created. Though a brainchild of erstwhile police boss, Solomon Arase, the steam for which it became the darling of the highway motoring public is fast fading, robberies have resurfaced and Kidnapping is increasing by the day. This is unimaginable and unacceptable especially given the successes of the outfit since it was reintroduced.
Sadly, facts now emerge that the scheme is faced with logistics challenges and apathy from officers and men of the special outfit. Special duty Allowances are no longer paid to the affected personnel, fuel for operational vehicles to go on patrols and lock-down beats are also not provided: Morale of the affected personnel is low and this is most worrisome that Nigerians now ask: If the teams are not paid their special duty allowances and fuel for operational vehicles not supplied, who then is safe and how can Nigerians move on unsecured highways? To buttress the bothersome situation, officers and men now deploy extraneous means, at times coercion, to extort money from the public in order to purchase fuel for their duty vehicle and help themselves. This is routine and the real picture on the highways, which we consider improper and call on the new IGP to respond immediately. A reaction from the top police boss is obligatory to clear the air on funds allegedly approved by the Presidency for this special security duty. Where are the funds? Why is the special duty allowance not being paid to the police personnel? What has gone wrong since Mr. Mohammed took over?
Nevertheless, we observed that it is not an overstatement to restate the relevance of this outfit and to call on the new police administration to provide the necessary tools, allowances for men of the Safer Highways in order to make our public roads really safe again. If things must change, the police helmsman must do the right thing by motivating officers and men of the outfit with incentives to boost their morale and not reduce them to mere highway beggars and extortionists. Sincerely, we view this aspect of forcing monies out of motorist as grave as the increasing criminality on the highways. If the Police is to endear itself to the public as friends, they must be incorruptible at all times and clear these bandits off the roads. We therefore, task the IGP, in addition to providing the required logistics to this unit, to increase their presence on Nigeria roads. This is sacrosanct as recent kidnapping on the notorious Abuja- Lokoja- Okene- Auchi and other highways shows that there are no Police presence to repel the criminal elements and this has being the case with most successful robberies and abduction. According to checks, instead of the Police maintaining steady presence on the highways they are elsewhere trying to raise money on their own to procure fuel for operational vehicles. This excuse is illogical, unacceptable and we condemn the act unequivocally. The police must maintain firm presence on their beats anywhere, while government does the needful. This is the sure way to go if security is really a cardinal concern of the new IGP and the Buhari administration.

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