Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex sociocultural organization of the Igbo people, has voiced indignation over what it calls the security situation along the Enugu-Ugwuogo Nike-Nsukka Road, which has virtually collapsed.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide’s Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, who is the national president, released a statement to Newsmen on Thursday that contains the alarm.
He described it as depressing that the hoodlums were carrying out their rabid actions unchecked despite the military and police being heavily represented among the security personnel on the route.
On Sunday, kidnappers who were thought to be Fulani herdsmen stopped the route and kidnapped a large number of passengers. Some of the victims are reportedly returning University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN students.
The perpetrators are reportedly operating smoothly four days later. Over the course of more than a month, similar operations have been continuously performed inside the same axis.
Reacting, Okwu said the development was unacceptable, urging the security agencies to look inwards.
He said, “We are saddened that the all important Enugu-Ugwuogo Nike-Nsukka Road has now become impassable because of the activities of rampaging Fulani herdsmen.
“No day passes by without sad stories from commuters and their loved ones. Just this Sunday, some travellers, including returning students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, were abducted by the gunmen.
“As we speak, not one of them has been released or rescued by security operatives. The kidnappers are demanding millions of naira.
“Today again, Thursday, information reaching us indicates that the armed men are back on the same road, and have succeeded in taking hostage many travellers.
“This calls to question the role of the various security checkpoints mounted on that road, including the Army and the Police. Feelers are alleging that there is internal collaboration between some of them and the hoodlums.
“We are urging the Army and the Police hierarchy to launch a discreet investigation and find out those providing a safe haven for these criminals.
“We have had enough sorrowful incidents on that road; we have had enough assurances from the police but it has not translated into results.”
The Igbo group demanded that “every effort should be made to free all hostages. The perpetrators should also be arrested forthwith and all forms of crimes should be stopped on that road.
“We learnt that they operating from Ekwegbe Agu forest. Security agencies should move in there and smoke them out. This is the only way for the security agencies to redeem their image and earn the trust of the people.”
Follow us on Facebook