The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers’ Union (NURTW) have sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged kiilings by suspected kidnappers along the East-West road between Bayelsa and Rivers states.
According to the CLO and the NURTW, though the state governors of Bayelsa and Rivers with the security agencies are yet to display their capacity to respond to the cries of the East-West road users, President Muhammadu Buhari should respond in his capacity as the commander-in-chief and order the deployment of the Joint military Patrol team to stop the killing spree along the area.
The leadership of the Bayelsa office of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), confirmed that three commercial drivers in the month of April, 2019 were killed by kidnappers along the East West road between Elele and Emouha headquarters in Rivers State.
The former secretary of the CLO, Comrade Morris Alagoa, noted that road users plying the East/West road are no longer safe especially along the Elele, Rumuekpe junction, Ndele , Rumuuji axis up to the Emouha local government headquarters in Rivers state with the incumbent secretary of the CLO,Timi Igoli nearly getting killed while travelling from Port Harcourt.
According to Alagoa, “Yes, there is need for concerted efforts to bring this threat to a halt, and passengers and other road users plying the East/West road are no longer at ease or safe; especially the environment between Elele, Rumuekpe junction, Ndele ,Rumuuji up to the Emouha local government headquarters in Rivers state.
The threat to lives and property has taken a daily dimension as kidnappers take victims at ease, killing drivers who try to act smart instantly.
“On Wednesday morning, a commercial driver heading to Lagos was shot and killed around Ndele. Some Bayelsans who either witnessed or got there shortly after the incident confirmed it; including the state secretary of CLO, comrade Timi Igoli.
Only recently too, a staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigerian Bayelsa office said she witnessed similar incident when the vehicle she was traveling in arrived the scene and she saw several victims being led into the bush by kidnappers and she was shivering visibly because of what she saw.
“The body parts of victims are sold off. Most unfortunately and regrettably that the police along the road have not been able to contain the situation. Before it took on this dimension several other Nigerians have been victims. Some victims are either released after relations pay ransom or they are killed and body parts sold off. Most unfortunately and regrettably the police along the road have not been able to contain the situation.
“Two police men were also allegedly killed, and Shell workers they were escorting, kidnapped. All these happened less than two weeks ago. My visit to the road workers union office in Yenagoa revealed that they lost three of their members in the state month of April, 2019. As primary stakeholders, I think they should raise their voices; especially as the authorities have failed to act positively.
“This is another call on the Bayelsa and Rivers state governors to be in the lead, to ensure proper arrangement for military operatives to replace the police or a joint task force be stationed and strategically go after those perpetrating the crime and their sponsors no matter how highly placed.
“I want to remind the security agencies and, especially the federal government that the protection of lives and property is the first line responsibility of any legitimate government. If government cannot protect citizens anymore, then they should allow all to bear arms. When will enough be enough?”