The residents of Enugu State have lamented bitterly over the incessant kidnapping allegedly carried out by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, in the South-Eastern state.
According to reports, sixteen travelers have been abducted by gunmen along 15km Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka Road in four days.
The gunmen reportedly kidnapped the travelers within four days despite over 15 military and Police checkpoints on the road.
Several others injured in the attacks are in various hospitals in Nsukka and Enugu, southeast Nigeria for medical attention.
The hoodlums reportedly boasted to their victims that they are Hausa/Fulani and vowed to make the southeast region a living hell over agitations for the restoration of the independent State of Biafra.
SaharaReporters gathered that between Tuesday, 20 June and Friday, 23 June, about seven kidnapping incidents took place on a stretch of road that is less than 10km long and with 12 military and Police checkpoints in addition to a Mobile Police base and a Police divisional headquarters.
Lamenting the recent siege of kidnapping on the ever-busy road, some commercial drivers plying the road called on relevant security agencies to rise up to the occasion and defend the people.
They said 16 persons were abducted in about four days.
A commercial driver, Emenike Omeh, lamented that despite several security checkpoints, kidnappers who reportedly come from faraway Kogi and Benue states had made the road unsafe for commuters and motorists.
He said: “Since last Tuesday, there have been kidnapping cases every day till yesterday – Saturday. We have over 15 military and police checkpoints along that road and the hoodlums operate successfully and carry their victims to Kogi State, where ransoms are paid.
“During the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy, kidnapping along that road immediately stopped, and kidnappers left the road. It was not the security agencies per se, but the cashless policy that halted it.”
Kingsley Ossai, a commercial driver plying the road from Nsukka to Abakpa told SaharaReporters that the checkpoints instead of stopping kidnapping had only worsened the situation. “All the security operatives on the road are only busy extorting motorists and drivers. When the kidnappers are operating on the road, the police will tell you ‘don’t go, they are operating there instead of going to engage them.
“As I speak to you four persons from Ehalumona in Nsukka Local Government Area are victims. Harrison Ogara, a member of Enugu State House of Assembly, and his members of staff narrowly escaped a few days ago. Felix Ezugwu from Umabor Ehalumona is one of the victims. So, I am not telling you stories of what didn’t happen.”