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JUST IN: Commuters stranded as soldiers block Abuja-Keffi Expressway

Thousands of commuters plying the Abuja-Keffi Expressway were on Wednesday left stranded after military officers barricaded the highway to conduct a stop-and-search operation on vehicles entering the nation’s capital.

Witnesses says the soldiers barricaded the road at the Kugbo section of the highway which is also under construction as early as 5:00 a.m. The blockade remained as of 1:00 p.m., Peoples Gazette learnt.

Security agencies did not give any prior warning before to the blockade that has caused a gridlock extending as far as Masaka, in neighbouring Nasarawa State.

Thousands of civil servants and traders who work in the Federal Capital Territory live outside the Abuja city centre in places such as Nyanya, Karu, Maraba and Masaka. Many of them have been forced to return home after hours of standstill.

The road is also an essential gateway to northern parts of the country, especially the North-East.

There has been growing concerns about the porosity of the FCT with reports of infiltration by terrorists, bandits and other criminals fleeing their bases as the military ramps up operations to flush them out of their hideouts.

On Tuesday, The Gazette reported that kidnappers invaded the University of Abuja staff quarters where they abducted  an Economics Professor, Obansa Joseph, alongside two of his children at gunpoint. Some yet-to-be named staff members were also captured by the bandits.

The school in its official statement on Tuesday said it was yet to be contacted by the kidnappers who are yet to demand a ransom.

Efforts to reach the army and police spokespersons regarding Wednesday’s blockade of Abuja-Keffi highway have proved abortive as their phone lines did not immediately connect.

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