Security improves in Kaduna, old tyres disappear from major streets

Gov. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero

Gov. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero

Security in Kaduna has improved from what it used to be last year.

Movement of vehicles has been very free, especially at security check points. Investigations by our Correspondent revealed that the long hold ups at security points all over the city and environs are now very light. At military security check point’s soldier’s wave on motorists to move on whether in the day or night. Some sand filled drums at police manned points have been reduced or removed completely for easy traffic flow.

However, motorcyclists have to bear with pushing or rolling their bikes before and after passing through each point.  But one aspect of the security is that the military has fortified its areas. For example, there is only one entrance for both going in and out of the barrack, used now by vehicles and pedestrians, no matter how highly placed.  This is in addition to searching of car boots, engine compartments as well as scanning.  It was also observed that all the narrow gates used by escapees from violence into the barracks are also sealed with blocks, while the only small gate not blocked is heavily manned and users thoroughly searched. This may not be unconnected with the attacks at various military barracks and police formations by insurgents and gunmen.

A peep into military barracks shows that the place is a shadow of itself as almost all the shops at the ever bubbling mammy markets are padlocked and there are no movements of business as usual. It was also observed that the parking lot in front of Kawo motor park, adjacent to the One Division Headquarters Nigerian Army, has been totally cleared of any vehicles, no cars are allowed to park at the space.

However, inside source expressed displeasure with media reports on security which he described as “exposing our security to the insurgents.  This is not good at all.  The media should help in this war against the insurgents by also exposing them, not exposing us to them please.”  He spoke on anonymity. Security at the churches and mosques remains unchanged with armed troops positioned during worship sessions.  The state security out fit Operation Yaki has also reduced their regular patrols as well as siren blaring whether in the day or night.

Meanwhile following the recent order by Kaduna State Governor Alhaji Mulktar Ramallan Yero that all tires mounted at security check points and others location within the metropolis be dismantled and evacuated, Kaduna state Environmental Protection Agency [KEPA]  in collaboration with security agencies have commenced the removing of tyres used as barricade from the major street in the capital. KEPA in the early hours of December 29, 2013 rolled out its men and trucks to carry out the exercise.

The men were accompanied by personnel from Kaduna state security outfit ‘Operation Yaki’. At the popular Ahmadu Bello Stadium (ABS) roundabout the team removed about 30 trailer size tyres from the Total filling station whereas the Manager of the filling station Usman Bello said he was not aware of the order and pleaded for more time to remove the tyres. “We use these tyres to control movement and control the indiscriminate parking of vehicles in front of our station and I don’t think it posed any security threat to the state, but the Governor is the chief Security Officer in the State and he knows better. My only pain is that we spend a lot of money to purchase those tyres,” Bello said.

At the Union Bank office along the very busy Ahmadu Bello Way, private security guards attached to the bank were seen hurriedly removing the tyres into the bank premises before the arrival of KEPA team. A vulcanizer at the NNPC Mega station along Ali Akilu road whose tyre were forcibly removed said the tyre are fairly used and on display for sale not for barricade as all his pleas fell on deaf ear.

The exercise however turned violent when the team attempted to remove tyres used as barricades in front of a building opposite Abakpa Junction but were confronted by a man who stopped them.

The security agents attached to the team did not take this lightly and voices were raised which led to the exchange of blows between the young man and the security men who are from the Civil Defense Corps.

The young man whom it was later discovered to be a military personnel ran into the compound for re-enforcement and three of his colleagues in uniform came out and it became a free for all fight creating a scenario where the civilians had to run for their lives.

The situation was controlled by a military officer who happens to be a passerby as he stopped to intervene asking the two sides to sheath their sword while assuring the task force that the tyres will be evacuated.

It would be recalled that Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero gave the order after the state security council meeting.

He said the measure to clean up the city and remove unnecessary barricade to ensure free flow of traffic became necessary following improvement in the general security situation in the state. Governor Yero added that any tire used by the military or police should be painted in their colors, a directive which is being implemented.

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