Following the rising spate of armed robbery and kidnapping along the Ugwuogo-Opi Nsukka road in recent times, heads of security agencies in Enugu State have met and vowed to end the menace.
An unidentified group of gunmen has in recent times, embarked on attacking, robbing, and kidnapping people, especially, travelers along the road leading to Nsukka from the state capital.
On Sunday, the gunmen abducted students returning to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka for the resumption of academic activities, and demanded N300 million as ransom.
Responding to the situation, the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, heads of security operatives in the state to the area for an assessment. The security heads include General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Umar Musa; the State Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Ammani, the Director of Department of State Services (DSS) H.M. Daluwa, the Garrison Commander, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. M.K. Ibrahim, among others, were led to the hideouts of the kidnappers.
Addressing newsmen during the on-the-spot assessment visit, the GOC, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Musa, who spoke on behalf of the other heads of security agencies in the state, confirmed that the perpetrators are purely kidnappers.
Musa assured the public that the combined team of security agencies is taking further steps into the bush to apprehend the perpetrators, rescue the victims and end the menace along the road.
“I assure you that we are going to go deep into the bush to pursue them and ensure they do not perpetrate more harm along the road,” he said.
“These criminals will be fished out and they will be dealt with,” the GOC assured.
Musa advised members of the public to report to the security agencies whenever there is any incident rather than rushing to social media. He pointed out that “news items on social media platforms are usually unconfirmed incidents and could send the wrong notion to the public.”
The GOC said Enugu remains a peaceful state despite the unfortunate incidents along Ugwogo-Opi road.
“We are here; we have seen the deployment; this state is peaceful but once in a while you have criminals and I assure you that these criminals will be fished out and they will be dealt with.”
Earlier, the Enugu State Police Command had issued a statement saying it has deployed maximum security personnel and intelligence to ensure adequate security on the said road, and also rescue the kidnap victims and arrest the hoodlums.
The UNN students kidnap incident triggered a lot of concerns with other students yet to return to school, expressing fears of what could befall them on the road. Currently, the Ugwuogo Nike-Opi road is the only good road currently that leads to the university town of Nsukka from the capital city.
Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.