The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order the removal of “illegal” roadblocks set up by men of the Nigeria Police Force on roads across the country.
In a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate Loss of So Many Lives Along the Onitsha-Owerri Express Road Within Ihiala Federal Constituency,’ The lawmaker representing Ihiala Federal Constituency in Anambra State at the House, Ifeanyi Momah noted that for over two years, military and police checkpoints in lhiala, along the expressway, had been operational to quell insecurity in the area.
Momah said, “Road users have since been subjected to devastating, degrading and inhumane treatment occasioned by the operation of the military and police checkpoints in that area. Being a major express road, the negative impact of this military checkpoint has been grave on the community as well as all the road users.
“In this menace, no one is spared; all suffer under the weight of the oppression. Men, women and children are forced to alight from their cars and raise their hands and pass through the checkpoint.
“Nursing and pregnant women are also not spared. In fact, nursing mothers are made to carry their babies up high as they walk across the checkpoint, sometimes being forced to walk for over 1km.
“Very recently, a pregnant woman on a bike was whipped thoroughly at the military checkpoint. Traditional rulers are also stopped and searched in an embarrassing manner, including ransacking of their traditional attire.”
He added, “The House is cognizant that the military and police checkpoints are located in the middle of the busiest road in the entire local government area, opposite Abbot Boys Secondary School Ihiala, and opposite Ihiala Divisional Police Headquarters, both located within the same axis, an area that ought not to be associated with a military checkpoint.
“As is popular knowledge, military checkpoints are to be stationed at border communities. Thus, this military checkpoint ought to be mounted at Amorka community, which is the border between lhiala Local Government Area and Imo State, and not its current location which is a commercial hub crammed with markets, businesses, schools, etc.”
The lawmaker also prayed the House to ask the IGP to direct the Commission of Police in Anambra State to review the location of the police checkpoint in Ihiala, “with a view to forestalling further occurrence of such disaster especially during the festive season.”
The lawmakers unanimously granted the prayer.