Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The ever busy Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, was Saturday, barricaded at Ofoeme Junction of the Umuahia-Okigwe axis by truck drivers protesting the alleged shooting of a driver and his assistant (‘conductor’) by security agents.
As at the time of filing this report, it was not yet clear which of the security agencies fired the shots.
This is coming less than 24 hours security agents also allegedly shot dead four unarmed Biafra agitators protesting the continued detention of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in Aba.
Ikengaonline was told that the shooting of the driver and his assistant occurred around 10:00am.
The incident caused heavy traffic jam as trucks blocked both lanes of the dual carriage way making it impossible for vehicles to come in or drive out of Umuahia towards Okigwe.
Around 3:00 pm when our Correspondent ran into the situation travelers were stranded at the scene.
Some motorists driving out of Umuahia were observed reversing their vehicles and heading back to the capital city.
Those driving in from Okigwe were helplessly trapped at the scene as hundreds of trucks and other stranded vehicles occupied the entire expressway.
When contacted, the Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC Abia State, Mr Paul Ugwu, said that when he got information about the incident he quickly despatched his men to the scene.
He said that when his men led by the Head of Operations got to the scene the drivers told them that security operatives shot one of them and his assistant driver (‘conductor’).
According to him, the victims are receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Umuahia.
The FRSC boss said that he had contacted the Commissioner of Police, the Brigade Commander 14 Brigade Nigeria Army Ohafia as well as the Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, and informed them of the situation.
He said that military men had been deployed to the scene, and were still making efforts to pacify the truck drivers to see if they could agree to unblock the road.
The FRSC boss said he had equally called the Chairman of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO , for his possible intervention, but he had yet to pick his calls.
He told our Correspondent that he heard that the incident occurred around 10:00am.
Ugwu, however, said that he was yet to be told what led to the shooting, and the particular security agency responsible for the alleged shooting.
He appealed to the truck drivers to soft pedal no matter their provocation at least for the sake of other road users.
“The military is still engaging them to pacify them; and as soon as they agree to clear from the road my men will move in and do a thorough traffic control.”
Ugwu appealed to road users to exercise patience as efforts were being made to bring the situation under control.