Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday said only God can guarantee the safety of travellers on the Abuja – Kaduna road where bandits and kidnappers have held sway in recent times
The Governor who was fielding questions from State House Correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday however assured that government was doing all it can to secure lives and properties on the road.
The Governor who was reacting to claims that the road is the “ most dangerous highway in Africa by the Nigerian Senate, stated that “ If you believe everything that comes out of the Nigerian Senate, then, you will have serious mental health problems.”
According to him, “ There are things that are said there that are just for the gallery, for the media. I dint know what statistics that were used to determine that the Kaduna-Abuja road is the most dangerous anywhere.
“I like facts, I like using figures. I wish the people that said that would use figures. But I am saying that no matter what anyone said, last week, I am assuring Nigerians that the Kaduna -Abuja road is quite safe now and would be so long as the initiates put in place by the various security agencies, details of which I am not willing to disclose”
Despite Governor El-Rufai’s claims however, the road has remained a death trap as many passengers continue to dread the activities of the dare devil kidnappers
“Only God can guarantee total safty. But I am saying as the governor of the state based on the security measures put in place, I am confident that the road is safe and I drive on that road”
The Governor who said he was at the Presidential Villa to brief the President on the general security situation in Kaduna, as I do from time to time and also to update him on the various initiatives by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the SSS, and the Army Forces with a view to improving the security situation in Kaduna in general and particularly along the Abuja-Kaduna road.
The Kaduna Governor assured that the initiatives put in place have made the road quite safe now.
“I can say confidently that anyone get in that road because I don’t want to go into details of the measures that have already been put in place but I am confidence with the security system in place now that people can be confident to drive on the Abuja-Kaduna road without any fear.
Speaking on the dispute with the National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the governor said, there is no dispute between me and anyone in the APC, the APC is one party, l don’t dispute with my own party.
According to him, “They may dispute with me but I don’t. I made comments in Lagos about how to retire go-fathers, it’s a template that we have used in Kaduna and it has worked.
“If anybody thinks he is a go-father, the template may apply to him but I am not in dispute with anyone. I expressed my views firmly and very clearly, there is no human being that I am afraid to express my views on, and when I am ready to express my views specifically on a particular name then I will do so but i havent.
Defending his position on the issue of godfatherism, he declared that “ l made a general statement but people have gone in to overdrive, creating fake news, abusing me and so on.
“I am thick-skin, I can take the abuse and I will wait for my time when I want to.
“I dint know if he is the go-father of Lagos, it’s up to him to say that. What I know for sure is that we have retired God-fathers in Kaduna and I have told those that asked me the question that ‘there are six million registered voters in Lagos but only one million voted,’ in the last election.
“So, there are five million people that you can bring into the electoral play ground and you can defeat anyone if you work hard. It’s hard work, it’s four years. That is what I said and if anyone feels offended by that, that is his business or her business.
He denied making recommendations for Lagos, added that “ l am the governor of Kaduna State, I know Kaduna politics pretty well and I played my role in my party towards the success of the party.
“I have no recommendation for anyone, I am just saying, if I am asked a question and I gave an answer, anyone that feels offended by the answer, it’s his own business.
I have no apologies, I don’t apologize for my views. My views are thought-out and I put them there.
“I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. This is a democracy, and in a democratic space, there must be room for people express their views. You can disagree, you can abuse me if you don’t like my views but that is it.
Tony Ailemen, Abuja