Niger Delta, Rivers, Security

Ex-Militants Protest Killings, Kidnappings On East-West Road


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Aggrieved drivers and ex-militants yesterday barricaded a section of the East-West road to protest the killings, kidnapping, robberies and other criminal activities on the road.

Chanting songs of solidarity, the protesters insisted that the worsening insecurity along the Rivers State axis of the road was alarming, and called for deployment of soldiers.

Leader of the ex-agitators Ebi John said gunmen operated with impunity on the road, terrorising drivers and commuters by kidnapping and holding them hostage in the surrounding bushes.

He said: “We are in pains. Every day there are killings, kidnapping, and robbery on the East-West road and in the entire Niger Delta; we are not happy about that.

“We appeal to the government to send soldiers to the troubled spots on the East-West road. We need the military troops because we are not safe anymore. Our wives are raped, our brothers and sisters are kidnapped, and we cannot travel through the road freely again.

“We urge the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS) to deploy troops in the areas where kidnapping happens. We will continue to protest until this problem is over.”

John argued that the failure of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) contributed to the insecurity, and appealed to the coordinator of the scheme to douse the tension.

Another ex-freedom fighter, Oweikpele, lamented that most of the problems which led to the agitations remained unresolved despite huge money released to tackle the issues.

“People are still roaming the street and are still subjected to other unforeseen circumstances. There should be a town hall meeting where all the stakeholders will find an end to these problems,” he said.

Source; The Nation