Abuja-Kaduna Highway: How safe is the expressway 3 months after?


By Yochuku Ofoka Yobolisa, editor in Chief

In January this year, some 100 female soldiers were deployed from the First Women Special Operations Battalion of the Nigerian Army to patrol the dreaded highway leading from Abuja to Kaduna.

With AK-47 slung over their indifferent shoulders, the NA’s female soldiers took their job to heart; they went ahead to guard and protect the dual carriage main road moving up and down the autoroute in the manner of conscientious soldier ants guarding their ant’s colony.

Many travellers have seen them at work and bore testimony to their selfless dedication to duty. Bala Bahago, a motor vehicle driver who plies the highway daily said, “Those girls are like demons on patrol, make no mistake about that. In their creamy camouflage uniforms, they look like the devil’s ministers; and that look is enough to scare all diehard bandits on that road.”

Bahago said that starting from January since the presence of the girls on the Abuja-Kaduna road, he could now run to Kaduna and come back safely even in the dead of night without feeling one bit disconcerted.

Other motorists also bore their testimonies: They agree that the coming of the female soldiers some three months ago has brought sanity on the highway, thus making the hitherto rampant attacks and abductions on the autoroute almost forgotten security issues.

When contacted, one ministry of defence official said, “That road is one of Nigeria’s most deadly highways. But it is no more than today. I would rather say that it has become one of the safest roads in the country due to the presence of those women soldiers.”

Numbering over 300, the all-female squad have been left on that highway to compliment Operation Thunder Strike and other operations in the NA’s 1 Div area of responsibility.

When Governor Nadir El- Rufai of Kaduna state received the first batch of 100 females at Kakau village in January he wasted no time in agreeing that the presence of the girls on that main road was enough to make all bandits and terror groups conform to discipline.

The governor said, that day, “I am very sure that deploying these females here would make the highway safe for commuters, and put an end to the incessant cases of killings, kidnappings, and other crimes that had hitherto made the highway deadly.”