Frustrated by the continuous incidents of kidnap attacks along the Opi-Ugwuogo Nsukka Road, motorists took to the streets on June 27 to protest the lack of security measures in place.
Carrying placards with various messages, the protesters demanded that the government take immediate action to protect the lives of its citizens.
The placards displayed various captions such as “Govt secure and protect the lives of your citizens,” “Kidnappers operate under the watch of security operatives,” and “Kidnappers have taken over Enugu state, “Govt must take the bull by the horn and stop this incident, the air force should join hands by using helicopters to comb the bushes,” among others.
According to reports by Punch, the protesting drivers expressed their displeasure with the Enugu state police command, accusing them of denying the occurrence of kidnapping incidents along the road.
Some of the drivers highlighted multiple instances of attacks that took place along the road, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.
One of the drivers, Mr. Omeja, recounted that on Thursday, June 22, 2023, criminals carried out three separate attacks on commuters along the road. The first incident occurred at noon, followed by a second attack around 2 pm, and a third kidnapping took place at 5 pm.
However, the senior special assistant to the state governor, Mr. Reuben Onyishi, refuted the claims of new kidnapping cases on the road. According to him, the protesters were actually commercial Siena drivers who staged a demonstration to draw attention to the previous week’s kidnapping incidents.
Mr. Onyishi clarified that the drivers were addressed by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Umabo Police Station, Eha-Alumona Nsukka. The DPO assured them that security measures had been implemented successfully, effectively eliminating kidnappers from the road. Consequently, the drivers dispersed and resumed their normal activities.
Reassuring the public, Mr. Onyishi stated, “The road is safe as a joint team of the military, police, and forest guards patrols both the road and the surrounding bushes. Let no one be scared. Opi-Ugwuogo Road is safe, as the Enugu state government has taken substantial measures to address any form of insecurity on that road.”