Armed men have hijacked a commercial bus conveying passengers from a burial in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Ughelli in Delta State. This came 48 hours after the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ari Mohammed Ali, read the riot acts to Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), over the rising cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and cult clashes and killings, or risk being removed with immediate effect.
The number of passengers in the bus and their identities could not be ascertained but the vehicle was said to be full to capacity.
The news of the hijack has triggered panic at Agbarho town as families and friends of those who travelled over the weekend have been traumatised. The victims were seized between Evwreni and Ogor communities in Ughelli.
The passengers were said to be returning to Agbarho axis of Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area when the hoodlums ambushed them. The Director-General of the Young Nigerian Rights Organisation (YNRO), Comrade Victor Ojei, decried the wave of crimes in the state.
He said: “They just kidnapped the whole passengers in the bus this evening. The bus was coming from Port Harcourt to Agbarho where they went for burial. Insecurity has reached an alarming stage.”
Ojei recalled that bandits hijacked a bullion van at Utulu-Ubulu-Okiti on Benin-Asaba Expressway last week from Agbor to Asaba and killed one of the policemen escorting the van.
He said: “Three policemen were reportedly injured and rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, but one AP/No. 19951 Inspector Ogar Sunday was certified dead by the doctor on duty while the remaining two were treated and discharged. Unspecified amount of money was carted away.”
The Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Edafe Bright, said the command had not received the report of the commercial bus hijack. However, a top officer in the command headquarters in Asaba yesterday confirmed the attack. He said: “Four of the victims have been released.
They are in the hospital. From all indications, nothing like full passengers were kidnapped.”