The Senate yesterday ordered the removal of multiple roadblocks mounted along major highways in the South East geo-political zone.
The upper chamber mandated its Committee on Works to take a tour of federal roads in the zone to ensure compliance with the directive without further delay.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion presented by the Senator representing Abia North, Mao Ohuabunwa, on matters of urgent national importance.
Ohuabunwa said the proliferation of roadblocks in the area was affecting the free flow of people, goods and services in the zone.
He wondered why multiple roadblocks would be mounted in an area that does not necessarily need them.
According to him, the roadblocks are seen by the people as instrument of intimidation and harassment.
Senator Victor Umeh, (Anambra Central), who seconded the motion, said the roadblocks have become a huge embarrassment to the people of the zone.
Umeh said: “The proliferation of roadblocks in the South East by security agencies is becoming a huge embarrassment. It is killing businesses in the region. Our people who are business oriented can no longer ply their trade.
“In the South East, we are not in any imminent danger. I don’t see the need why we should have more road blocks in the area. Sometimes, you have roadblocks in a distance of about 300 metres.
“Security is important. But it should not be abused. Our people are complaining and we need to correct this. Our people now spend more time on the road because of these unnecessary roadblocks.”
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked the Committee on Police Affairs and Army, to visit the affected areas and report back to the Senate for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, the Senate has summoned the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to brief its Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South)-led Committee on Police Affairs on the circumstances behind the Monday killing of seven police officers at Galadimawa Junction in Abuja.
In addition to the seven police who were killed along one civilian by unknown gunmen stationed at a Police Post at the junction of Galadimawa Roundabout after Sun City Estate, on the way to the airport, the committee will also investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of two other police men at Abaji.
Information on the death of two additional policemen at Abaji was raised on the floor of the Senate by the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, PDP, FCT.
Ibrahim, while responding to enquiry by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on the gruesome murder of the security agents during plenary, yesterday, said that the police chief has been invited to appear before the committee on Tuesday next week.
He said: “The Committee on Police Affairs invited the IG to brief us on these killings and what happened in Maiduguri and it is going to be on Tuesday”.
Saraki, who condemned the killing of the security officers by unknown gunmen, thereafter mandated the Chairman of the Committee on Police to report back to the Senate next week.
The Senate President, who noted that the National Assembly was also expected to pay attention to those who lost their lives in active service while also discussing the inaction of others, said: “While also talking in that light, I observe that we have not taken this issue of the SARS police officers that were killed on Monday in Galadimawa Junction.
“I think as a National Assembly, as much as we pay attention to ordinary citizens that lose their lives either by one action or inaction of the police, we all should be seen to also protect and be there for those that protect our lives.
“I will like us to please find out what happened as regards to these seven police officers that were killed, the circumstances and how we can also show our commiseration with the families as well as whatever needs to be done so that police officer and all of them know that we do care and appreciate what they are doing. Please let us have a report by next week”.
It will be recalled that some gunmen shot seven police officers on the heads in Abuja on Monday at the Galadimawa Junction, off the international airport road.
The Federal Capital Territory, FCT Police Spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed in a statement that ‘men of the underworld’ were responsible for the attack.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja