Commuters stranded as youths protest kidnapping on Benin-Auchi road
Posted by News Express | 16 June 2021 | 584 times
By SUYI AYODELE, Benin
Hundreds of commuters on the Benin-Ekpoma- Auch-Okene Road were, on Wednesday, stranded in the Ehor axis of the road in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of Edo State as angry youths blocked the expressway in protest over the incessant activities of herdsmen kidnappers on the road.
Tribune Online gathered that the protest was triggered off by the Monday killing of a Masters of Science graduate in Architecture from the Ambrose Alli University, AAU, Ekpoma, Miss Ella Williams, who was allegedly killed by suspected criminal herdsmen, who opened fire at the vehicle she was travelling in from Benin to Ekpoma to collect her call-up letter for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, programme.
While Miss Williams reportedly died on the spot, the killer herdsmen allegedly abducted the remaining passengers and herded them into the bush.
The recurrent incidents of kidnapping by herdsmen on the route forced the youth in the locality to block the expressway in the early hours of Wednesday, thus forcing many of the travellers on the route to detour to Agbor Road in Delta state from Benin City because of the blockade.
Obe of the residents in the village, Francis Okhomina, said five persons were shot in the area on Monday by suspected herdsmen kidnappers and that two of those died while three were badly injured.
“Everywhere is blocked, there is no way to pass here since 6 am. These Fulani men have been kidnapping people and taking them into the bush. Our people have become scared. Two days ago, they shot five people there, two died and three survived and they are in the hospital so our people became angry and they took over the road, the road users have to go and pass through Ughoneki going to Auchi,” Okhomina explained.
“The police have tried, the vigilantes have been trying but it is like these people have better arms so they cannot do as much as we expect so the youths are angry that is why they have taken over the road,” he added.
The Edo State Police Command was yet to react to the blockade as the Command’s spokesman, Kontongs Bello, did not answer the calls made to his cell phone.
The Benin-Ekpoma-Auch-Okene Road has become a haven for suspected herdsmen and kidnappers, who daily operate by firing shots at vehicles to stop the drivers and the passengers kidnapped for ransom.
In the process, quite a number of passengers have been killed while many others have been injured. (Nigerian Tribune)