As insecurity worsens on Nigerian roads, our leaders would rather fly over our heads

Strong accountability matters – and when it works, it benefits everyone. It enables people to know how the Government is doing, and how to gain redress when things go wrong. It ensures that ministers and civil servants are acting in the interests of the people that they serve.” – Institute for Government.

Every government has certain responsibilities towards its citizens – protection of lives and property and the provision of basic social amenities including energy resources, pipe-borne water, good road infrastructure, etc.

What we see today, however, is a high level of disregard of responsibilities and an almost absent level of accountability, considering a government that would rather leave the citizens to ill-fated roads while they conveniently fly over our heads.

According to news making the rounds, the Federal Government has given Aero Contractors license to start flight operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route as insecurity worsens on the road –  one that has recorded too many cases of kidnapping and armed robbery.

In July 2020, it was reported that an unspecified number of travellers had been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway less than a week after a lawyer was reported to have been killed by suspected hoodlums who abducted his wife and son.

So, it is worrisome now that the government would rather commission flight operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route rather than fix the insecurity problem on the route, knowing fully well that not everyone can afford the luxury of a flight.

And, due to the poor road network, the rising cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and killings along the Abuja-Kaduna road, many commuters might have resorted to using the train service which became operational in July 2016 and seems relatively safer than the roads. However, it does not favour long-distance travellers who ply that route because the train services are limited to both states.

One would have expected that the government will extend the hands of progress of a train service to our road infrastructure and address the insecurity problem made worse by bad roads. However, this is not the case because it is much easier to fly over our heads while innocent citizens die at the hands of hoodlums.

It is only right for Nigerians to speak up against bad policies and hold the government accountable to their responsibilities.

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