By Ikechukwu Odu – Nsukka
Enugu State Police Command has frowned at the indiscriminate mounting of roadblocks by vigilante groups in some parts of the state.
The command said the duty of such security apparatus is complementary and should not include mounting of sand bags on the roads to harass motorists and cyclists.
Reacting to an enquiry by Vanguard about harassment of road users along Nsukka- Enugu Ezike Road, especially at Iheakpu Awka, Ibagwa and Obukpa among other areas by members of the local security outfit, Neighbourhood Watch, the state police spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, said it was illegal for civilians to set up roadblocks for purposes of extorting road users.
Amaraizu, said “This is not part of the mandate given to them. They should play complementary roles in ensuring the safety of the locals and not mount sandbags on the roads. They are not the appropriate authorities to mount roadblocks.”
This is even as the locals are complaining of alleged exploitations by the said vigilante groups who insist on collecting money before allowing the motorists and cyclists to pass their checkpoints (roadblocks).
A secondary school teacher, Augustine Ali, condemned the development and said that something should be done urgently by appropriate authorities to stop the anomaly. Ali, who said he had been harassed severally by the operatives of the neighbourhood watch along the same route, alleged that they would always demand money before allowing him to go.
A traditional medicine dealer, Peter Asogwa, from Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of the state, said that they beg road users for money, adding that “the group do not use force on the people.”
He, however, said that they delay road users in an attempt to convince them to give something along Uzo-Uwani axis where he traverses for his business.
Sandbag checkpoints along Nsukka- Igbo-Eze North Local Government road.