Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:54 am
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Transporters plying the Elele-Omudioga- Omoku route and its environs led by the Rivers State chapter of National Union Road Transport Workers on Thursday embarked on peaceful protest over incessant robbery attacks, kidnapping of commuters and the attendant loss of lives and property.
The protest was sparked off by the attack on one of the drivers, identified as Alfred Igwe-Amadi, which led to the death of his passengers on the spot in the early hours of Thursday.
The protesters who spoke to journalists decried the frequency at which crime is perpetrated on the highway and the increase in security challenges along the Elele – Omudioga – Omuku axis of the road, especially since the announcement of the withdrawal of Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni,(ONELGA) Onelga Security and Peace Advisory Committee OSPAC vigilante from the area by the state government.
The protesters, including the Park Manager and Vice Chairman of NURTW, said they suffer so much in the hands of criminals who attack them at gunpoint, kill drivers and passengers and as well steal their belonging including their cars without interference from security operatives.
He said the number of check points on the East-West road has not deterred the criminals rather they are multiplying on a daily basis.’’
The protesting commercial bus drivers called on the Federal, State and local government at all levels to take the primary responsibility of securing lives and properties of citizens seriously just as they threatened not to fold their hands and allow their members die unnecessary.
The protesters threatened that if nothing is done to check the incessant attacks on the road, they may be forced to provide their own security.
A younger brother to the driver who was shot , Iheanyi Onwuzirigbo, expressed fears over the present health condition of his brother who he said was first rejected at the first hospital where he was rushed to before being admitted at a private clinic in the state.
Our correspondent reports that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Elele division came to the scene of the protest and later took his men to the scene of the incident, but did not speak to Journalists or address the crowd on his next line of action.