By Cecilia Ijuo
Senator James Manager from Delta state has described the Kaduna-Abuja highway as the most dangerous in the country.
He was making a point of correction at plenary on Wednesday after senators described the road as simply one of the most dangerous in the country because of the spate of kidnapping and banditry on the road.
James Manager. He said the road is the most dangerous in the country and that only those who want to commit suicide could use the road at the moment.
The Senate after the debate called on the Federal Government to deploy more coaches to the Abuja-Kaduna train service, to ameliorate the plight of passengers.
The resolution followed a motion by Sen. Ali Ndume, titled “urgent need to increase the number of Coaches to the Abuja-Kaduna rail line”.
The senate said the call has become necessary following the number of people who out of fear of kidnapping, and other criminal activities, resorted to travelling by rail.
The Senate, also urged the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to increase frequency of trips, while regulating prices, to check abuse.
Ndume noted that most passengers en-route Kaduna-Abuja Road had resorted to rail as a safer means of transport.
He also said that the increase in the patronage of the rail services was as a result of its relative safety, comfort, convenience and affordability.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that the train had been hijacked by the elites, who daily congested the stations for fear of.being kidnapped or attacked by bandits on the Kaduna-Abuja road.
According to Ndume, many travellers jostle for tickets at the train stations on daily basis, adding that shortage in the number of available coaches was the reason for the long queues recorded at the stations.
Contributing, Sen. Shehu Sani, noted that the Kaduna-Abuja railway had become the oxygen and lifeline of the people, stressing that the road had become one of the most dangerous roads in the country.
Contributing, Sen.Bala Ibn Na’alla said the increase in train coaches was not the solution but increasing the frequency of trips, wondering if Kaduna-Abuja road should be abandoned because of security challenges.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, revealed that the federal government had paid for 64 coaches but lamented that the Chinese company building the coaches was only ready with 12 that would be delivered shortly.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki put the resolution to a voice vote and it was adopted.