… blame Police, group says
By Emma Amaize
WARRI â€” THEÂ identity card of the the crude oil tanker driver that crushed six market women to death at Effurun, near Warri, in the early hours of last Thursday, has been found by the Army, Vanguard reliably learnt yesterday. The driver is still on the run six days after the unfortunate incident.
Also GeneralÂ Coordinator of a civil society group, Peace and Development Initiative for Niger Delta, Mr. Christian Scot-Emuakpor, has blamed the recent motor accident that claimed the lives of six women traders at Delta Steel Company (DSC) round- about on the police.
Meanwhile, the policemen suspected to be men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), allegedly involved in the incident, are still at large, and have not been identified by Delta State Police Command.
Up till yesterday, there was still conflicting reports on the matter, as a police source told Vanguard that some soldiers were said to be in hot pursuit of the tanker when the accident occurred.
However, the driver of the bus conveying the deceased women was said to have made a statement to the police, saying he suspected that SARS men were at the scene when the accident happened, but that it was not the security agents that pursued the tanker driver.
A police source insisted that the tanker driver drove dangerously and rammed into the bus.
Investigations by Vanguard revealed that the policemen supposedly involved in the accident were not from Ebrumede Police Station that was partly razed by an angry mob.
The tanker was taken to the Army Barracks, Effurun, for custody, while both the army and the police are now on the driver’s trail.
… blame Police, group says
Scot-Emuakpor called for the removal of police check points on Nigeria highways and told the government to adopt patrol strategy as a method to secure the lives and property of commuters.
According to him, â€œthe lives of these women, struggling for self-actualization and determinism in order to make the ends of life meet were cut short abruptly because of the overbearing and oppressive exercise of power and authority by the powers that be.
â€œThe question we have often turned over in our minds is: Why is the Niger Delta, Delta State, for sample reference, under siege?
â€œThe military and para-military presence on our highways smacks of martial occupation. The military and police road blocks (euphemistically called, checkpoints) which we encounter on our roads, are nauseating and stink to high heavens.
â€œThe needless fatal accident we witnessed last week is the direct product of this martial occupation of our region. The display of officiousness with cock readiness to fire by these military men demeans commuters and dents their human dignity and honour. A trip from Warri to Benin or Port-Harcourt or Asaba and back is like a plunge into a nightmare.
â€œ Dr. Uduaghan has visited the scene of accident. He expressed profound sorrow and personal pain and condoled with the families of the dead. He promised that everything will be done to unearth the cause of the accident.
â€œThat is good show, particularly when he came out at the scene in mournful black. But to this NGO, the cause of the accident is obvious enough.
â€œThe road blocks are a danger to our lives and property. They render us insecure rather than secure. They should be removed, forthwith, without delay.
â€œIn their place, government should introduce the patrol strategy. Instead of standing in one place under the rain and sun, morose and desperate, and venting their spleen on innocent commuters, the soldiers and policemen should mount on armoured cars and patrol the highways.
â€œThey should not be far between. Some would start from one end of the highway and others from the other end moving in opposite direction in a criss-cross fashion.
â€œThis will guarantee our protection and security on the highways far better than the mounting up of death trapsÂ we call checkpoints, which have claimed several lives, unheard and unsung, on our roadsâ€.