By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
One week after armed robbers shot dead a Point of Sale (POS) operator along Market Road, Aba, Abia State, another operator identified as Ezinne Grace Iroh, has been killed at Ukaegbu Road, in Ogbor Hill area of the city.
Sources told Vanguard that the gunmen numbering three stormed Ezinne’s shop in a tricycle and shot her on the chest as she struggled to protect a bag believed to be containing cash for the day’s business.
The gunmen finally overpowered her, collected the bag as well as her POS machine.
The situation caused panic in the area as people scampered to safety leaving Ezinne in a pool of blood. When the gunmen fled, sympathizers later took Ezinne to a nearby hospital where she gave up the ghost the next day.
An eyewitness who gave her name as Oluchi lamented that a police checkpoint mounted by men of the Ogbor Hill Division located a stone throw from the scene of the incident, but could not make any effort to save the Pos operator.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Mrs Janet Agbede, on the incident, was unsuccessful.
In a related development, Operators of Point of Sale, POS, outlets in Abia State, have sent a save our soul message to the State Commissioner of Police over the incessant robbery attacks on them.
The operators who spoke to Vanguard over the recent killing of POS operators stated that the situation has forced most of their members out of business while others have lost their lives and money to robbery attacks.
A cross-section of the operators lamented that they have become soft targets to hoodlums and urged the police and other security agencies to protect their businesses.
Governor Ikpeazu assures POS operators of safety.
Reacting to the attack on POS operators in the state, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has disclosed that measures have been put in place to arrest the situation.
He charged tricycle operators to report the bag eggs among them to the security agencies or face the consequences.
“We are determined & have put machinery in motion to arrest within 10 days the few criminals who operate on tricycles. For these measures being put in place to have the desired results, I urge all stakeholders including Traditional Rulers, vigilante groups, POS operators and the general public to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies, with whom we had a security meeting in releasing actionable information about suspected characters within our state.
“With the mode of operation of these criminals, it becomes imperative for leadership of Keke operators to purge themselves of criminal elements or face dire consequences,” the Governor said.