In its bid to ensure that the incessant insecurity challenges which necessitated the mounting of checkpoints in many parts of the country, the House of Representatives is set to interface with the security chiefs to explore the possibility of using electronic surveillance to insulate security operatives from further loss of lives.
Hon. Emmanuel Jime (APC, Benue) yesterday moved the motion on the need to introduce explosive detection devices portal on the highways in lieu of the manual checkpoints currently being operated.
The lower chamber resolved to ensure that the checkpoints were managed in a manner that causes the least extra congestion in spite of attention to details pending the installation of detection devices.
Jime said in the realisation of the fact that the checkpoints currently on the various points of the highways do not have metal devices that can detect explosives, there was the need for “the use of detectors, including radiation detecting portals through which commuters pass.”
These, he was convinced, “will reduce the congestion caused by these checkpoints and offer a more reliable form of detecting explosives and other weapons.”
He flayed the manual method of conducting checks because of its inadequacies of lacking metal detectors, causing of dangerous traffic gridlocks and threat to lives and properties.
“This manual method of conducting checks constitute a serious security threat on its own as it leads to a massive build up of vehicles at one point, thereby leaving several lives at the mercy of a suicide bomber who could easily drive a vehicle laden with explosive devices into the thick of the congestion, (and detonate it) for his ungodly act,” Jime cautioned.
He also expressed concern over the “archaic and cumbersome method” of checking motorists “on the major highways into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Citing section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 constitution as amended, Jime noted that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), chairmanship aspirant for the Kaduna state chapter, Mr. Mataimaki Natasha has said that majority of Nigerians are looking forward for an administration that will bring about positive changes in the affairs of the country.
Ahead of the party’s national convention, he said the present crop of APC membership will resist any form of manipulations from any one no matter how highly placed in the party.
Speaking to Journalists in Abuja yesterday on his ambition to lead the state chapter of the party in Kaduna, he said there has been a lowering quality of Nigeria’s leadership, when compared to the performance during the second republic.
He said many of the country’s problems can be solved if there was an effective educational system that is accessible to both the poor and the rich .
For instance, he said there are presently over 700,000 children in his home state, Kaduna who are out of school and on the streets because they cannot afford the fees to attend schools.
The aspirant who also spoke on the delay in the conduct of the state congress in Kaduna blamed it on unnecessary intrigues being played by some of the party leaders.
He said the aggrieved stakeholders have since submitted a petition to the APC interim national leadership, adding that they are expected to reconcile issues before the convention of the party.
He said the coming together of parties to form APC has shown clearly that there are still people who are determined to being about the desired change.
Natasha said party members in Kaduna were opposed to any form of imposition of candidates and they also not allowing issues of religion to influence their decisions on candidates of their choice.
On why he is seeking to become the chairman of the party in Kaduna, the former commissioner said he hopes to build a strong party and to ensure that the lofty programmes of party are implemented by government.
“One of the greatest problems we have witnessed is that political parties have failed to serve their roles. So the coming into being of APC was because the numerous challenges facing the country, most of them self-inflicted that has tended to stifle Nigeria’s development,” he said.
“I believe in the principle of change. I have been in this struggle from 1979 till date. In the second republic I was a member of the state executive and at that time there was access to education to many of our people. I have also served in various capacities in the service of my people.
“We want to make sure that anybody who is coming into public office must have something to contribute to national development project so that we can settle down to develop and improve the dignity and integrity of the country. This is why I want to be party chairman, he said.
While lamenting the country’s predicament, Natasha expressed worry that after over 100 years of our existence as nation , politicians are still harbouring ethnic and religious sentiments.
“Nigeria is heavily blessed with resources and huge population and is capable of becoming a world economic power but instead we are still bickering almost endlessly on mere ethnic and tribal differences,” he said.
The aspirant who has served variously as commissioner for Agriculture, Education and Youth Development said that what have given birth to the formation of APC is the growing loss of confidence and trust in governance by majority of Nigerians.
According to him, most of the country’s problems are self-inflicted, adding that the quality of the political leadership in the country has continued to decline since the inception of the civilian administration in 1999.
“Added to the political and economic problems is the insecurity crisis. There is so much insecurity presently that Nigerians no longer feel safe. There is growing mistrust among the people and the citizen do not trust government,” he said.