WARRI branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA has urged the Delta State Government to engage and synergize with the security forces to clear herdsmen who have taken over farm lands and homes of Deltans in the communities along the Ohoror-Bomadi Road.
While decrying the security situation along the Eku-Abraka Road, the lawyers also told the state government to ensure that the ravaging herdsmen were also cleared from that route. They held that the road was no longer safe for travellers.
NBA in a statement by its branch chairman and Secretary, Chief Oghenero Okoro and S.G. Ediagbonuvie, respectively, lamented over “the bad and deplorable state of the Effurun Roundabout, Effurun, is not only worrisome but embarrassing. It has continued to cause great pain, suffering and loss of revenue to the residents of Warri, Effurun and environs due to the grid lock it occasions daily.
“It is also a bad testament to and an advertisement of the twin cities of Warri and Effurun, considering the fact that the Effurun roundabout is the gateway into the cities of Effurun and Warri for visitors and investors transiting through Warri, Effurun and environs to other parts of the country.
“That the Warri- Benin Road, a Federal high way, particularly the Effurun to Oghara portion of it, has been totally taken over by miscreants and other non-state actors who in the guise of one taskforce or the other have mounted road blocks on every metre of the road.
“Some Government agencies like the NSCDC (National Civil Security and Defence Corps) and Delta State revenue task forces, rather than check these miscreants, have also joined them in inflicting grueling pain on commuters on this road. Between the Effurun Roundabout in Effurun and Oghara Junction in Ethiope-West Local Government Area, about 32 (Thirty Two) of these illegal road blocks are mounted by these non-state actors.
“This is excluding the ones mounted by men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). These road blocks do not only make commuting on the Effurun to Oghara portion of the Warri-Benin Highway difficult but also cause damage to vehicles of commuters and the road itself.
“There have also been reports of robberies and attacks on citizens at night by criminals taking advantage of the logs and barricades left on the road at these road blocks.
“That the security state of the Eku-Abraka Road and also the Ohoror-Bomadi Road is now very alarming. Fulani herdsmen have reportedly taken over the entire stretch of the Eku-Abraka Road, daily kidnapping, killing, raping and maiming our people. This also is the scenario on the Ohoror-Bomadi Road stretch where farmers have been forced to flee their farms and their homes and same have been taken over by these Fulani herdsmen and other bandits/criminals.
“Consequently, the NBA, Warri Branch hereby demands the following; That the Delta State government, as a matter of urgency, should take steps to immediately rehabilitate and fix the Effurun Roundabout and restore it to normalcy.
“The government should also take advantage of the repair to beautify the roundabout which has been taken over by some mentally challenged persons, due to its long neglect. In addition to fixing the roundabout, the Delta State Government should also think of creating alternative routes in the area to divert traffic from the Roundabout and reduce the pressure on it.
“This will reduce the rate of failure of the Roundabout which has become yearly.
(b) The State Government should also as a matter of urgency liase with the Police, army and other security outfits in the country to clear the Effurun to Oghara portion of the Warri-Benin Road of all the road blocks mounted on the road by the non- state actors masquerading as one taskforce or the other.
“It is instructive to note that apart from the menace these roadblocks cause to commuters, it has also become great security risk to travellers as criminals stay at these road blocks to rob and kidnap or maim travellers in the night when these miscreants who mounted the road blocks have gone home.
“That the State should engage and synergize immediately with the security forces to safeguard the lives and property of persons travelling along the Eku-Abraka Road by clearing out the herdsmen who have taken over these area. This also goes for the herdsmen who have also taken over farm lands and homes of Deltans in the communities along the Ohoror-Bomadi Road.
“The Branch also wishes to use this opportunity to commend the State Government for the recent rehabilitation of the Jakpa and Airport Road Junction on the Effurun/Sapele Road. It is hoped that these rehabilitations will be extended to other parts of the cities.”