Armed Robbers Terrorises Rivers Highway
Travellers on the Ogoni wing of the East-West road are counting more losses, as armed robbers continue to dispossess them of cash and other valuable items at gun point. possess
Noted for its notoriety for kidnapping and armed robbery activities, many commuters dread plying the road.
Some of those who dare to ply the highway, do so with fear of the unknown and prayers for God’s protection against the hoodlums.
Many Nigerians, including foreigners had been victims of these bandits that have been terrorising the people who use the road in the past three years.
The robbers operate at will despite security checkpoints mounted by soldiers and policemen along the road, particularly close to the border area with Akwa Ibom.
One of the victims of this week's attacks, John Udom, who was returning to Port Harcourt from Uyo on Sunday, told Bounce News on Monday that the bus he boarded was stopped at gunpoint during which every passenger was robbed at gunpoint.
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Giving details of his ordeal, the victim, a native of a Eleme, narrated how he was disposed of personal belongings including cash and cellphone. The robbers left for him only his Bible and copy of his Sunday School Book.
The 55-year-old man, said that at the point he boarded the bus along the road, there were still few unoccupied seats.
"The driver was picking passengers along the road. I even complained to him against doing so and suggested he should drive to Port Harcourt. "My fear was because of insecurity along the road, especially on the Ogoni section. That fear came to pass."
"Soon, as we entered the Ogoni section, and drove past a military checkpoint, a young man who posed as a passenger flagged down the bus. The driver stopped and he boarded.
"But before the bus could move, he pulled a gun and ordered everybody to face down. We all obeyed him as three others wielding guns emerged from a nearby bush and joined him.
"They marched us out of the vehicle and ransacked everybody as we still lay faced-down. They took away every cash on every passenger, as well as cellphones. Some women who had gone to market and purchased bags of garri had the foodstuff poured to the ground by the robbers.
The victim said that after the robbers had collected everything on the passengers, they disappeared into the bush.
Another victim, who didn’t want his name in print, said the road had become a nightmare to so many people.
He, however, said as a gateway to the South - South states, the road plays a very important role in the economic activities of the people.
The man, his wife, two sons and his sister in-law were returning to Port Harcourt that fateful Friday, July 20, when the bandits struck in a commando-like style, as they opened fire on the SUV they were travelling in.
They pumped bullets on the vehicle, hitting the tyres and body of the car.
The victim said how they survived the attack was a miracle.
“We survived the attack by divine providence,”
The section of the Akwa Ibom stretch of the East-West road, connecting Rivers State, has been a nightmare to road users.
Travellers using the road endeavour to avoid using the road road anytime later than 6.00 p.m. even though both robbery incidents, according to the victims, usually occur in the afternoon.