Following incessant attacks on members and commuters by armed robbers, kidnappers and other hoodlums on major highways. Commercial luxury bus drivers have decried, their lives are in danger throughout this Christmas and new year season. Regular attacks on their members on the highways reportedly has been on the increase.
The Chairman of the National Association of Luxury Bus owners of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Ejiofor, made this known on Thursday at a conference in Onitsha, Anambra State.
He urged security agents to accentuate patrol and surveillance on the nation’s highways to manage the situation.
The call had become necessary as the situation had adversely affected the socioeconomic activities of members and Nigerians generally.
He demanded forceful measures to arrest the safety/security challenges.
According to him,Benin by-pass, Omotosho-Ijebu ode, Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Nassarawa, Makurdi, and Elele-Port Harcourt highways are the major flashpoints.
As he said, these criminals operate undisturbed with dangerous weapons as well as sophisticated guns and cutlasses.
“They block the roads, divert vehicles and passengers into the thick bush undisputed and unleash terror on their victims. Sometimes, the victims are held for weeks.
“Recently some of them at the Benin by-pass had confessed to victims,that they were Fulani herdsmen, who had lived in the bush for several years.”
“They also claimed that security operatives are aware that they occupy these areas and that no one can come to their rescue unless they give ransom or they lose their lives.”“The worrying side of a recent Benin by-pass attack is that a victim, who came back from the United States of America vowed never to come back to Nigeria unless the security condition improved.”
He said life shouldn’t be allowed to be so cheap within the country. Therefore, we call on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to give a boost to security within the affected areas.
“A joint force of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, DSS, and armed civil defence personnel ought to mount surveillance and do a regular patrol to tackle this ugly trend, especially throughout this Christmas and new year season.”