Police to escort air travellers on Abuja-Kaduna Highway

IGP - Ibrahim IdrisThe Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered the deployment of three helicopters to carry out aerial surveillance of the Abuja-Kaduna highway. The action followed the closure of the Abuja airport and the diversion of planes to the Kaduna airport. The police boss also directed that 300 personnel be on duty on the road to escort and protect air passengers from Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory. The Force spokesman, Donald Awunah, who disclosed this to our correspondent on Friday, explained that the new security arrangement was meant to complement ‘Operation Maximum Security’ which was in place on the highway. He assured the passengers of adequate security on the road because the operational strategy in respect of the highway had been released. Awunah explained that the operation would be coordinated by the Deputy Inspector-General in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila. He said, “In addition to Operation Maximum Security already in place on the road, the IG has made additional security inputs. There will be about three helicopters on patrol and additional 300 personnel. “The buses provided by the airport authorities will be escorted by security operatives. Other security services are involved, so there would be inter-agency patrols and increased intelligence through collaboration with the local communities around the area. The operation would be coordinated by the DIG Operations. There is an operation order on it.” The Abuja-Kaduna expressway had recorded high levels of kidnapping, including the abduction of the Sierra-Leonean Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Maj.-Gen. Alfred Nelson (retd.), in July, 2016. Meanwhile, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, has said eight additional commands would be set up along the Abuja-Kaduna Road. He said the essence was to ensure free flow of traffic, following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and diversion of aircraft to the Kaduna Airport. He added that more patrol vehicles and personnel would also be deployed the area to ease the gridlock that may arise on account of expected increase in vehicular volumes on the road.

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