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Coalition threatens protest over failed Rivers roads, attacks on travellers

By Ann Godwin and Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
20 September 2022   |   3:38 am
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Rivers State has condemned the attack and kidnap of seven passengers in Rivers State, yesterday.

We’re working to address insecurity, say police
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Rivers State has condemned the attack and kidnap of seven passengers in Rivers State, yesterday.

Gunmen terrorising Emohua/Kalabari axis of the state had, at the weekend, kidnapped seven passengers, including the driver and the conductor .

The gunmen attacked the vehicle at a bad spot, shot sporadically into the air and took the passengers to an unknown destination.

Their abduction happened few days after hoodlums killed a bus driver and kidnapped eight passengers along the same road.

Reacting to the development, Chairman of the coalition and Executive Director, Foundation for Leadership and Citizens Development (FLCD), Enefaa Georgewill, told The Guardian, that the attack had continued to happen because the state government failed to repair dilapidated roads, especially in the three Kalabari local councils.

He called on the state government to fix failed portions of roads and enhance security in the area.

He said: “We are using this medium to call on Rivers State Government and the Commissioner for Works, who is from Kalabari, to fix bad potions of that road.

Enefaa threatened to mobilise its affiliates for a protest that would occupy the road until it’s fixed.

“Failure to do the above, Rivers State Civil Society Organisation (RIVCSO) will be left with no other choice but to mobilise its affiliates and community people to occupy that road until it is fixed,” he warned.

SIMILARLY, the governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in the state, Dr. Dawari George, decried the rising insecurity.

George noted that the criminal activities have direct negative impact on Emohua and neighbouring Kalabari councils.

George lamented that rather than abate, insecurity is on the rise with daily reports of fresh assaults on persons and travellers on the route.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Bekee Anyalewechi, George condemned criminality and its perpetrators, even as he noted that it was a huge setback to communities and their economic prospects.

“There is no reason or excuse to justify the criminality along important and busy route. That route connects critical Rivers communities and major ethnic groups,” he said.

MEANWHILE, the Rivers State Police Command has said its operatives are working with council chairmen in Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema to tackle insecurity in the areas.

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, said the command was working with affected council chairmen in the Kalabari area to stop the criminal activities.

“We are working on it, though we have scanty information about the issue at the moment but the state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, has deployed adequate security to the area and also urged council chairmen and DPOs to ensure there is peace”

“The people should work with the police as well. if there is any suspicious movement, they should call on the police, we are willing to assist because they are in the domain and understand the terrain better.”