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Incessant Kidnapping: Protesters Barricade Opi-Nsukka, Enugu Road


….Calls For Govt. Action 

  Drivers plying the Opi-Nsukka, Enugu road numbering  over one hundred on Tuesday blocked the road  to protest constant kidnapping of drivers and passengers along the road.

The action which caused heavy traffic jams on the road for several hours, left motorists, tricycles, Operatives and passengers stranded , as the protesters were seen chanting solidarity songs and asking Federal and Enugu State Government to come to their aid.

Some placards displayed  by the peaceful protesters read thus:  “Enugu State Government should come to our aid over incessant kidnapping on this road, ‘Opi-Nsukka  Enugu road is now a den of kidnappers”.

“The primary duty of any Government is to protect lives and property. “The Air force should join hand by using helicopter to locate hideouts of these kidnappers, Last week alone, three drivers and many passengers were kidnapped, 

Speaking to newsmen a Sinna commercial driver who plays Nsukka to Enugu, who identified himself as  Mr. Ben Onyeke said that, the protest was to bring the attention of Mr Peter Mbah, the Governor of Enugu State on what drivers plying Opi-Nsukka Ogbogo Enugu road have been going through with their passengers recently. 

“This road has become a kidnappers’ den as drivers and passengers are abducted on this road on a daily basis.

“Last week three of Sinna commercial drivers were kidnapped on this road and ransom paid before they were released.

“Some of our drivers who escaped from being kidnapped  have their  bodies and buses ridden with bullets by these hoodlums,” he said.

Leader of the protesters, Mr. Chujwudi Offia in his  remark said that because of constant kidnapping on Opi-Nsukka Enugu road, many people know feared to travel on the road for fear of being kidnapped.

He stated that this had affected their patronage by passages as the now struggle to get passengers in their park.

“We are using this protest to tell the Enugu State  government and security agencies  to rise up to their responsibilities by ensuring that these criminals are arrested and prosecuted.

“The first duty of every government is to protect lives and property, so the government should protect us from these hoodlums.

“Many of our drivers, passengers and other road users have been kidnapped on this road with ransom paid before they regained freedom.

“We are doing this today so that Nigerians will hear us as we don’t know the next driver that will be kidnapped on this road that has become kidnappers’ den,”he said.

Also speaking, Mr Cosmos Agbo, a transporter, businessman and community leader from Opi described the level of kidnapping on that road as unfortunate, the kidnapping of drivers, passengers and other road users constantly.

Agbo said he narrowly escaped from being kidnapped on that road last week and was yet to recover from the psychological shock.

“Government primary responsibility is to protect the lives and property of citizens, the Enugu State Government should act fast to bring activities of these criminals to an end.

“The state employed  people who work as Forest Guards, government should direct the forest guards to go into the bush to flush out these kidnappers.

“If kidnappers have taken over a bush in the state , the question is, which bush are forest guards guarding in Enugu state,”he said.

The community leader however, urged the 10th National Assembly to quicken the passage of community and state police bill, so as to reduce security challenges facing the country.

“Community and state police will go a long way to address issues like kidnapping,armed  banditry, insurgent and other forms of crimes in our communities.

” The 10th assembly should quicken the passage of community and state police bill before security challenges in the country get out of hand,”he said.

Mrs Stella Ogbonna, a private motorist going to Enugu from Nsukka, who was among those stranded during the protests commended the protesters for raising alarm of what was happening on the road.

“Even if the protesters blocked this road for the whole day just to bring the attention of appropriate authorities to end the daily kidnapping happening on this road  I will not complain.

“I commend the drivers for the protest ,they are doing it for everybody since nobody knows who will be the next victim, enough is enough on kidnapping on this road “Ogbonna said.

The intervention of Eha-Alumona, Divisional Police Officer, Mr Allen Evason, who addressed the protesters in a humble and compassionate voice made the protesters remove the roadblock.

He promised the protesters that kidnapping on that road would soon end as security agencies in the area were working night and day to ensure those behind the crime were tracked down, arrested and brought to book.


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