Road users along the Enugu-Nsukka Road on Tuesday took a stand and protested the constant kidnapping of drivers and passengers along the axis.
The development grounded vehicular movement, leaving road users stranded for over one hour.
The protesters were seen chanting songs, asking the Federal and the Enugu State Governments to come to the aid of drivers, passengers and other road users.
Some placards carried by the protesters included: “Enugu State Government should come to our aid over incessant kidnapping on this road; Opi-Nsukka Enugu road is now a den of kidnappers; The primary duty of any Government is to protect lives and property; The Air force should use helicopter to locate hideouts of these kidnappers; Last week alone, three drivers and many passengers were kidnapped.”
Speaking to newsmen, a commercial driver who plys from Nsukka to Enugu, Mr Ben Onyeke said that the protest was to bring the attention of Barr Peter Mbah, the Governor of Enugu State to what drivers plying Opi-Nsukka-Ugwuogo Enugu road have been going through with their passengers recently.
“This road has become kidnappers’ den as drivers and passengers are abducted on a daily basis.
“Last week, three Sienna commercial drivers were kidnapped and ransom paid before they were released.
“Some of our drivers who escaped from being kidnapped had their body and vehicles ridden with bullets by these hoodlums,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Chujwudi Offia said many people now avoided traveling on the road for fear of being kidnapped.
“We are using this protest to tell the Enugu State government and security agencies to rise up to their responsibilities by ensuring that these criminals are arrested and prosecuted.
“The first duty of every government is to protect lives and property, so the government should protect us from these hoodlums.
“We are doing this today so that Nigerians will hear our voice as we don’t known the next driver that will be kidnapped,” he lamented.
Also speaking, Mr Cosmos Agbo, a community leader from Opi described the level of kidnapping on the road as unfortunate.
Agbo said he narrowly escaped being kidnapped last week, adding that he was yet to recover from the psychological shock.
“Government’s primary responsibility is to protect lives and property of citizens. The Enugu State Government should act fast to bring the activities of these criminals to an end.
“The state government employed people who work as forest guards; the government should direct them to go into the bush to flush out these kidnappers,” he said.
DAILY POST reports that the intervention of Umabor Eha-Alumona Divisional Police Officer, Mr Allen Evason yielded result as the protesters removed the road block.
Evason promised the protesters that kidnapping on that road would soon end as security agencies were working night and day to ensure that those behind the crime were tracked down, arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State Government says normalcy has returned to the area.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by Mr Reuben Onyishi,
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Enugu State on New Media.
“The road is safe as a joint team of the military, police and forest guards patrol the road and the bushes. Let no one be scared.
“Opi-Ugwuogo Road is safe as Enugu State Government has adequately contained any form of insecurity on that road,” Onyishi said.