Members of the National Assembly have devised new security measures to stay safe, Saturday PUNCH can report.
Among other measures, the lawmakers have abandoned their official numbers plates, which show that they are members of the National Assembly.
Those who spoke with one of our correspondents said they were afraid of kidnappers.
They said had also stopped making their movements known to people, including their aides and domestic workers.
They said that their departures, arrivals and destinations were only known to those they trusted.
The lawmakers, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH, were however divided on whether moving about with security detail was safe.
Recall that THE PUNCH reported last week about how Very Important Personalities and senior security officials had abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna road, where many had been kidnapped.
Prices of tickets at railway stations were reported to have gone up because many people now prefer to travel by train.
A lawmaker from one of the states in the North-Central geopolitical zone said he now moves about discreetly, adding that those around him don’t usually know his destinations.
Another lawmaker, Mr Olusegun Odebunmi, said the use of official number plates outside Abuja should be discouraged.
He said, “We are in serious danger. While some parts of the country are okay (safe), some are not. If you are living in Abuja, using the official number plate may not cause issues. But if you are outside Abuja or you are travelling out of it by road, official number without security officials will attract serious danger to you. If you are going outside Abuja by road, use the ordinary (private) number except you are moving with security personnel.
“Nigeria seriously needs to do something. Many VIPs are seeking police cover for themselves but can we continue with this? How many policemen do we have in the country that they will be assigned to all the VIPs? What happens to the common man? The best thing is for the country to do something by engaging more personnel and providing more equipment and technology – sophisticated ones.”
A member of the House of Representatives from the South-West, however, discouraged the use of police orderlies, warning that they call attention to unknown VIPs.
Also, senators have been employing various measures to escape the criminals on highways.
The Senator representing Taraba South senatorial district, Emmanuel Bwacha, said it was very risky to go about with security aides because doing so would put lives in danger.
He said, “The kidnappers move around in large numbers carrying weapons that are even superior to what the security aides are carrying. If you don’t want to waste the lives of your aides, it is better not to always move round with them.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Okuku unit in Cross River State, Mr Idagu Odey, was abducted along with other passengers by unidentified persons suspected to be Ebonyi warlords on Thursday.