By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
The ever busy Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road, came under heavy attack early Thursday morning as gunmen suspected to be kidnappers laid siege to the road and kidnapped a sizeable number of persons travelling on the route.
Leadership gathered that the gunmen were said to have first attacked a commercial bus at the Urhokosa/Obagie end of the road and took a number of the passengers into custody.
The suspected kidnappers who were said to be in groups, got a group to lead the first set of the victims to the bush, enroute the kidnappers’ den, while a second group caused the driver of the bus to use the vehicle to block the road.
A trailer driver, who saw the blockade and suspected that it might be for the sinister operation of the men of the underworld, was said to have refused to stop and rammed his articulated vehicle into the blocked, killing two of the passengers.
Other vehicles which ran into the traffic jam, occasioned by the blockade, were attacked by another group of the kidnappers, who selected victims and marched them to join the earlier captured passengers.
A member of a vigilante group in the area, who acted bravely by confronting the gunmen, was shot dead by the kidnappers, according to a witness, who narrowly escaped into the bush while the confusion reigned on the road as the gunmen operated without any challenge.
The escaped victim, who claimed that he had to abandon his vehicle to run into the bush, added that he met some other persons who also escaped in the bush, just as he said that the gunmen were shooting sporadically for a long time without any resistance from the security agents.
Efforts to reach the Edo Police Command authorities of the incident proved abortive as neither the Command’s spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, nor the Chis boss, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, answered to the calls to his mobile phone.
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