Gunmen hijack bus, abduct 20 passengers
Flood submerges Abuja-Lokoja highway
Gunmen yesterday again struck along Port Harcourt-Owerri Road abducting 20 occupants of a commercial bus.
The Guardian gathered that the 18-seater bus was heading to Owerri when suddenly armed men surfaced from the bush, shot the vehicle until it stopped at Isiokpo-Elele in Ikwerre Local Council of the state and whisked away the passengers, including the driver and the conductor, on gunpoint.
A driver operating on the same route, whose vehicle was also shot by the hoodlums, Mr. Martins Aluziwe, said his vehicle and the intercepted bus took off the same time in Port Harcourt and were going to Owerri before the ugly incident.
Aluziwe said few minutes after the incident, soldiers at a check-point close to the scene of the attack moved into the bush to rescue the victims.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said the command was yet to be briefed on the incident but assured that the police would move into action swiftly.
Meanwhile, several commuters and motorists along Abuja-Lokoja road were yesterday held hostage by heavy traffic hold-up for several hours due to the flooding of waterfalls from Mount Patti and Oworo hills that took over parts of the highway.
Some buildings have collapsed around Felele because of the force of the run-off of over 3,000 billion cubic metres of water from the mountains and hills.
Many residential buildings and shops around the river bank were also submerged in the raging flood that lasted for about six hours.
Besides, a portion of the Lokoja-Ajaokuta Road was also flooded around the Ganaja village axis of the state capital caused by the overflow from the Niger River.
The state Commissioner for the Environment, Rosemary Osikoya, who spoke on the incident, said Sarikin Noma was completely flooded and cut off from Lokoja.
She said one lane of the Abuja-Lokoja federal highway was completely over-ran by the flood, making it difficult for commuters and motorists to continue their journey.
The commissioner said in some of the places, farmlands have been submerged, while in other places, the houses were submerged.
Also, the Lokoja Local Council Administrator, Shiru Lawal, who described the situation as devastating and catastrophic, said though it is a natural disaster, they were prepared for it because they knew it was going to come.
He prayed that there should be no rain over night again.