By Dennis Agbo
THE Youth Wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has decried systematic kidnap of luxurious bus-loads of Igbo traders in the northern part of Nigeria.
National Youth Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Arthur Obiora said the matter was a big security challenge being faced by Nigerians especially Igbo traders commuting from the north to the east.
Obiora noted that recently kidnap gangs on roads in Kaduna State had made the popular luxurious buses their main target, adding that at times in a singular swoop; they abduct passengers, who were mostly traders, in three of the buses.
He noted that despite the security-men on roads, the kidnap syndicate still operate free and successfully; thus, moving hundreds of people at a time from the buses to the bushes.
He recalled that on Jan. 14 this year, kidnappers in military camouflage uniforms within Kaduna-Kachi axis by NNPC Road forcefully stopped a fully loaded luxury bus belonging to Ezenwata Transport and they used the same bus to stop ongoing luxury bus from GUO Transport and some other smaller vehicles.
“These passengers numbering over 120 people, who are mostly Igbo traders, were abducted and taken into the bush. Theincident was reported to the police and the police know about it.
“The owner of the Ezenwata Transport luxury had to retrieve the luxury bus, which was coming from Kano to Onitsha, involved and park it at the nearest police station to the scene of the incident due to the personal belongs and goods of the traders still in that bus.
“But, till today, no one had heard any development concerning that incidents and large number of the individuals abducted in that particular incident.
“Another similar incident happened on Monday, Jan. 27; within same NNPC Road few kilometers metres away from the point of the former incident. Kidnappers abducted passengers in three luxury buses and few small vehicles coming from Sokoto and heading to Onitsha.
“This time around it was GUO Transport, Ezenwata Transport and Young Shall Grow Transport luxury buses that are under the Luxury Buses Owners Association.
“This second abduction involved over 200 people mostly Igbo traders and as I speak to you, we have not heard anything about them also.
“It is clear we cannot continue to forge ahead as a nation when some criminals are already deploying tactics to eliminate Igbo traders or inflict fear on our people in order to bring to end the age-long beneficial trade between northern traders and their counterparts from the East,’’ Obiora said.
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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo youth leader, however, urged the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to rise up to the challenge of the worsen security challenge on major roads in Kaduna State.
According to him, there was need for the Federal Government to restrategise on security within major roads and forest areas in Kaduna State and other northern states.
On the missing hundreds of people so far, Obiora said that it was time that the security service chiefs were sacked.
“Either they have run out of ideas or they are incompetent or they are already compromised; and I cannot see a country where kidnappers abduct hundreds of people and move around freely within the same country.
“We are seriously confused on all that is currently happening in the country security-wise and we appeal for answers and solutions,’’ he added.