As insecurity worsens in Nigeria, luxury bus drivers have said their lives are in danger during this Christmas season, following constant attacks on their members and passengers by armed robbers, kidnappers and other hoodlums on the nation’s highways.
The Chairman of National Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Ejiofor, raised the alarm on Thursday at a press conference in Onitsha, Anambra State, urging security agents to intensify patrol and surveillance on the nation’s highways.
Mr. Ejiofor said the situation has badly affected the socioeconomic activities of members and Nigerians in general.
He said, “The major flashpoints included Benin by-pass, Omotosho-Ijebu Ode, Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Nassarawa, Makurdi, and Elele-Port Harcourt highways.
These criminal elements operate unmolested with dangerous weapons including sophisticated guns and machetes.
“They block the roads, divert vehicles and passengers into the thick bush unchallenged and unleash terror on their victims. Sometimes the victims are held for up to a week.
“Some of them at the Benin by-pass had confessed to victims recently that they were Fulani herdsmen, who had lived in the bush for many years.
“They also claimed that security operatives know that they occupy these areas and that nobody will come to their rescue unless they part with ransom or they lose their lives.
“The disturbing aspect of a recent Benin by-pass attack is that a victim, who returned from the United States of America vowed never to return to Nigeria unless the security condition improved.
“A joint force of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, DSS, and armed Civil Defense personnel should mount surveillance and carry out a regular patrol to tackle this ugly trend, especially during this Yuletide.”
According to him, life should not be allowed to be so cheap in the country.
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has not been able to guarantee security of lives and property.
On Tuesday, a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, was been shot dead on Tuesday by unknown gunmen along the Abuja-Keffi road while the retired air chief marshal was returning from his farm on that road.
This gives an insight into the state of insecurity in Nigeria – when a former defence chief could so easily be killed.