The Rivers state police command, on Wednesday, declared a state on the emergency on the Emohua axis of the East-West Road where kidnapping takes place in massive proportions. This is as the police said they have already shattered about eight abduction camps in the forests along the dreaded route.
The Police specifically identified the Ndele, Rumuji and Rumuekpe section for the declaration over the continuous highjacking of commercial buses and killing by hoodlums along the area.
Nnamdi Omoni, the Rivers Police Spokesman, said in a statement that; “We have made massive deployment of policemen, uniform and plain cloth to that axis. We have also sent men to creeks, bushes and villages to tap on intelligence gathering.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to forestall incessant and wanton killings of commuters and security personnel in that axis.”
About a week before the declaration, a commercial bus belonging to Agofure Motors was attacked. The driver was shot dead while the passengers were whisked into the bush until the police intervened and rescued most of the passengers while the kidnappers escaped with two others.
Also, on Thursday, the leader of Ahoada West legislative assembly, EFCC Chiko, was shot dead at the Rumuji axis of the road.
Concerned Nigerians had posted on social media warning people off some routes in Rivers State. “Please for your safety and safety of your loved ones avoid Omagwa to Ubima and Owerri or Isiokpo to Ubima. Anything that will make you enter through Ubima going to Owerri especially from 6 pm in the evening should be avoided.
“From Elele to Umudioga, Egbeda, Ubima, and Omuku Road are no-go areas in the evenings due to high rate of kidnappings. From Bayelsa to Port Harcourt divert to Elele Alimini to Elele Isiokpo and proceed to Port Harcourt. Avoid Elele-Ndele Rumuji-Emuoha-Choba -Port Harcourt.
“Please stay safe. Kidnappers are on the rampage. On daily a basis, they practically blocked the East-West Road from Elele to Emuoha axis. Stay safe.”
On insinuations that policemen connive with kidnappers in some areas, the PPRO said the command was inestiating it. “We are also investigating our men who have been on that axis. We have gone back to the drawing board to critically examine our mode of operations and come up with acceptable lasting solutions.”