By; PAMELA EBOH Awka
Transport operators with routes to Abuja, Lagos and parts of the North have lamented the increasing spate of kidnap and robbery attacks along the major highways in Nigeria.
The operators which include; luxurious buses, commuter buses and executive Siena buses with headquaters in the commercial city of Onitsha threatened to embark on a nationwide strike targeted at crippling the transport sector if the insecurity on the highways were not addressed.
Expressing dismay at the situation, operators who convey passengers from Onitsha to various cities with loading terminals in Aba, Portharcourt and Enugu lamented that it has become increasingly riskier to travel the routes earlier stated owing to security challenges.
Manager of God’s Will Transport, Emenike Okafor while addressing journalists in Onitsha on Wednesday observed that incidences of daylight armed robbery and abduction of passengers along the highways increased after the #EndSARS protests.
He cited Benin bypass – Ogbemudia farm to Ore and Kogi area in Lokoja –Abuja highways as hot spots where the bandits operate unhindered, adding that no fewer than six passengers have been kidnapped in the areas.
Okafor said, “In the last two weeks, there have been recorded cases of robbery and abduction of passengers involving Sienna and Hummer buses with about six passengers kidnapped in the mentioned areas.
“We 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 the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps in the affected area.”
He condoled with the Police over the casualties and losses recorded during the #EndSARS protests.
“No responsible citizen no matter how highly provoked would engage in burning, looting and attack on the police institution saddled with the task of protecting the citizens.
“We want the police to go back fully to their duty posts with renewed vigour and zeal. Let the government motivate them by improving their welfare packages and ensure that those casualties already recorded receives adequate compensation,” he added.
Okafor noted that those involved in the mayhem wanted to destabilize the country’s security network stressing that they should be brought to justice.