Militant leader, Asari Dokubo, has bragged that President Muhammadu Buhari hired him to protect the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Daily Trust reports that the highway gained a reputation for being unsafe for travelers during the Buhari-led administration, due to frequent kidnappings and murders.

But in the twilight of the immediate past government, reports of violence crashed significantly.

When he visited President Bola Tinubu at Aso Rock last month, Dokubo had boasted that his men were the ones responsible for the stability being enjoyed on that axis.

He had said: “There is a full-scale war going on and the blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listen to this false narrative. They are lying. They are liars. I repeat they are liars because I am a participant.

“I am a participant in this war. I fight on the side of the government of the Nigerian state in Plateau, Niger, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Rivers. And in Abuja today, you are travelling to Kaduna on this road. It is not the army that makes it possible for you to travel to Abuja or travel to Kaduna, and vice versa. It is my men, employed by the government of the Nigerian state, stationed in Niger.

“Today, you travel to Baga, you go to Shiroro, you go to Wase. We have lost so many men and in all these engagements, we don’t even have one per cent of the armament deployed by the Nigerian military. One per cent and we have had resounding success. So, this blackmail must end. They (Nigerian Army) have enough resources to fight. Instead of fighting, they are busy stealing. They are busy making the government spend unnecessarily.”

Dokubo also accused the military of oil theft, but while the armed forces debunked the allegation, there was no official response to the issue of securing Abuja-Kaduna highway.

In a newly released video, Dokubo again bragged that peace and stability returned to the road through his intervention.

He said though he was not in good terms with Buhari for a larger part of his administration, the ex-President saw potentials in him and gave him a crucial task.

“If the Buhari-led government can engage me to bring safety for the people on the Abuja-Kaduna road, it should be commended. Do you know how many lives were saved? Do you know how many people were brought out from depression and trauma? Have you ever spoken to people who have been kidnapped?…,” he said.

“We did not employ ourselves. The government saw the potential in us and knowing that we can deliver and they engaged us. That the Buhari government engaged me shows that they know who I am. I was not a friend of Buhari. For Seven years, I was anti-Buhari. Buhari with all that saw the capacity in me that I am capable and the government came.”

Efforts to get the reaction of Garba Shehu, ex-spokesman to Buhari, were not successful as of the time of filing this report as he declined calls put through to him.

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