Youths and motorists in Urokuosa community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area in Edo State, blocked the road yesterday to protest against incessant insecurity on the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja Road.
The protest, which was the second in less than a month, forced long vehicular queues on both sides of the road and left commuters stranded for several hours.
It was gathered that the protest was provoked by an alleged attack of a Toyota Sienna space bus by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday, which left many passengers injured.
The protesters claimed that a driver of a popular transport company was shot dead last week along the road and threatened not to vacate the road until the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki or the Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu showed up.
Obaseki, however, reassured that the government would sustain its collaboration with the military, the Nigeria Police Force, members of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network and other security outfits in the state to tackle insecurity on the road.
He gave the assurance when the leadership of the Student Union Government (SUG) of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the security of lives and property of Edo citizens, saying that measures had been put in place to enhance security in the axis and other parts of the state.
He said: “The issue of insecurity on the highway is not peculiar to Edo State alone. We all know about the insecurity going on in the country but the Edo State Government has been proactive by doing a lot of work in collaboration with the local vigilante and other security agencies to boost security along that Uhunmwode and Obagie axis. In the not too distant future, it will be a thing of the past.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has announced that its operatives rescued six kidnapped victims along the same Benin-Ekpoma Road.
The police command also added that two suspected kidnappers have also been arrested in the process.
A press statement that was issued by the Spokesman of the Police Command, Mr. Kottongs Bello, said that “on 07/07/2021 at about 18.40 hours, operatives of the Edo State Police Command, Egba Divisional Headquarters, acting on credible information from members of the public that a Toyota Sienna bus with registration number ‘EDO RRU 780 NE’ and its driver, Mr. Eric Ehiaguna, ‘m,’ belonging to a private transport company coming from Ekpoma to Benin City, was intercepted by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at Igue-Ozevbaru and kidnapped all the occupants in the process and forced them into the forest.
“The un-relenting DPO Egba Division, S.P. John Emmanuel, swiftly mobilised his patrol teams into the bush for immediate bush combing with a view to ensure safe rescue of the kidnapped victims.
“The police operatives’ team led by the DPO swooped on the kidnappers while leading the victims into the thick forest. The security operatives engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel around Obadan forest. The hoodlums then abandoned all the six (6) kidnapped victims, including the driver Eric Ehiaguna “m,” and fled in to the bush.”