Transporters in Onitsha have raised the alarm over alleged incessant robbery attacks and abduction of their members and passengers in major highways leading to Lagos, Abuja, and Northern Nigeria. They have therefore threatened to cripple the public transport sector by embarking on a nationwide strike if something urgent is not done by the Federal Government and the Police over the pervading insecurity in the federal highways.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha, the Manager of God’s Will Transport, Mr. Emenike Okafor identified Benin bypass area of Ogbemudia Farm, to Ore and Lokoja in Kogi State towards Abuja highway as the most dangerous flashpoints where the bandits operate unhindered. He said that some of the fleet operators that have fallen victims to the hoodlums including luxurious bus owners, commuter bus operators, and executive Siena bus operators who convey passengers from Onitsha to various locations, terminals in Enugu, Aba, and Port Harcourt. He lamented the increased incidences of daylight armed robbery and abduction of passengers in the highways within the past two weeks, after the #EndSARS protest which turned violent.
“We have recorded cases of passenger robbery and abduction in the last two weeks, involving Sienna and Hummer buses with about six passengers kidnapped in those areas. “We, therefore, call on the Inspector-General of Police to activate his rapid response mechanism and the establishment of a joint patrol team involving the Army, Police and Civil Defence Corps in the affected areas.t “Travelling has become increasingly riskier following the security challenges, being faced by commuters.” Meanwhile, we must use this opportunity to commiserate with the Police over the casualties and losses they recorded during the #EndSARS protest that later turned violent. We must state that no responsible citizen no matter how highly provoked would engage in burning, looting, and attack on the Police who are saddled with the task of protecting the citizens and their properties. “It is the criminals that unleashed the attacks on Police formations just to destabilize the country’s security, but they must not be allowed to succeed. “We, therefore, appeal to the Police to go back fully to their duty with renewed vigor and zeal, and we implore the Government to motivate them by improving their welfare and compensate the families of those that lost their lives during the crisis.”