…We’re afraid of the route— Drivers
By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU—Kidnappers have intensified their deadly operations at the notorious Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka Road in Enugu State with the abduction of 14 persons, Friday evening, on the busy road.
The victims were said to be travelling in a fully loaded bus to Obollo-Afor from Enugu late evening, when the criminals struck.
The occupants of the bus, including the driver, were said to have been kidnapped by the hoodlums while two lucky ladies, who hid under the vehicle, escaped.
A driver, who plies the route, but pleaded anonymity, confirmed that the two ladies hid under the bus while the other passengers were marched into the bush by the gunmen.
This came as police sources in Enugu said operatives were making frantic efforts to round up some notorious criminals suspected to have invaded Enugu from a neighbouring state and recruited both some local criminals and herders to perpetrate the act.
Police efforts reportedly paid off, last week, as over 28 suspected criminals, mainly kidnappers, were killed during a dawn operation and dangerous weapons, including AK-47 rifles used by the criminals in terrorizing the state were recovered.
A driver working with a popular motor company told Vanguard: “It is dangerous plying the Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka Road in late hours. One of our drivers was kidnapped on Friday with his passengers. They were all kidnapped except two lucky ladies who hid under the bus.
“They were able to escape because it was raining and it was also late in the evening.
Nobody has heard anything from the abductors till now. We are afraid. That road is now a death trap, it is not safe at all.”
A concerned citizen lecturing at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus lamented that kidnapping regularly takes place on the busy road despite the road blocks mounted strategically by both the army and police.
According to him, “We are suspecting foul play on the part of security agencies. How can these daredevils continue to operate freely on that road with the huge presence of security agencies.
“They have no fewer then four road blocks across the road, yet nothing has been done to stop the havoc going on there daily.
“This should be a test case for the new Commissioner of Police in Enugu State because if he cannot stem it, let the authorities replace him with a more pragmatic and battle-ready officer that will save us from these criminals.”
Contacted, Enugu State Police Command said it has no such report.
According to the command’s spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, “There is no such situation known or reported to the command at the moment. However, while we are making frantic efforts to verify the veracity of the information, we urge the person(s) with information on the exact location, time and mode of occurrence of the alleged incident to avail us of the same for necessary police actions.
“Meanwhile, the command remains undeterred in her quest to flush out unrepentant violent criminals in every part of the state.”