GUO Transport Company has confirmed that a driver of one of its buses shuttling passengers from Lagos to Abuja was killed in an alleged attack by some suspected gunmen along the Ikare-Akoko Road of the Akure Expressway on Friday.
The management of the transport firm, in a statement posted on its official Facebook page on Sunday, added that other passengers, except a three-year-old child, were allegedly kidnapped along the corridor.
A senator, Ned Nwoko, had earlier shared the news of the alleged attack on the GUO bus on yesterday via his verified X handle, @Prince_NedNwoko, saying that the hoodlums abducted all the passengers but left an infant inside the vehicle.
Though the senator failed to mention the location of the attack, he emphasised the need for the government to allow its citizens to bear arms for self-protection.
The senator wrote, “This was reported to have happened to GUO on Saturday.
They killed the driver, left the small girl there, and kidnapped all the passengers. This is the reason for the law on self-defence.
“If the driver had a gun or any of the passengers, the kidnappers wouldn’t certainly have their way.
The only thing they have that good and law-abiding citizens don’t have are guns. The passengers might never be rescued, and just imagine the poor little girl who will be traumatised for life.”
Also, in a short WhatsApp video seen by PUNCH Metro on Sunday, a voice was heard saying, “This bus is coming from Lagos. We stopped together at Akure and ate.”
While confirming the attack on Sunday, the statement by the company read, “GUO Transport Co. wishes to use this medium to confirm that there was a bandit attack on one of our buses en route to Abuja from Lagos.
“The unfortunate incident occurred at about 3:15 pm on Friday, February 9, 2024. Along the Ikare-Akoko area of the Akure Expressway, the kidnappers ambushed and attacked oncoming vehicles, among which was one of the Hiace buses from Lagos with passengers onboard.
“This unfortunate event led to the death of our driver at the crime scene, while our passengers are believed to have been held hostage and led into the bush. A child of about three years old was rescued from the scene and handed over to the military personnel on the ground while the family has been contacted.
“Our prayers are with those directly or indirectly affected by this unfortunate incident.
“While we empathise with the families of our slain driver and the families of our kidnapped passengers, we are cooperating with security agencies to ensure a quick and sore release or rescue of our passengers.
“We appreciate the prayers, advice, understanding, and support of the security agencies, our staff, our passengers, and the public at this critical moment.
“We also appeal to the government and security agencies to intensify efforts to make our highways safe again.”
All efforts to reach the Force Public Relations Officer proved abortive as he neither picked up his call nor responded to a text message sent to his mobile phone.
This is the second attack on a commercial transport company bus within two weeks. A few days ago, it was widely reported that passengers travelling in two buses from the South-East part of the country to Abuja had been kidnapped on the Inele-Eteke Ogugu new road in the Kogi East senatorial district of Kogi State.
The buses said to belong to the God Is Good and ABC Transport companies, heading to Abuja, were abducted by kidnappers on Saturday.
However, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, SP William Ovye, reportedly confirmed their release, saying, “I have just been informed by the DPO that all the kidnapped victims of God Is Good Motors, and ABC have regained their freedom.”
Meanwhile, mixed reactions have begun to trail the call by Nwoko for Nigerians to be allowed to bear arms for self-defence.
While some Nigerians on X supported the idea, others opined that the country was yet to attain that level and thereby urged the government to wake up to its responsibilities.
An X user, @francis_ranco, wrote, “You are right on this, Oga. Self-defense is the most effective way of preserving oneself. Nigerians must be allowed to defend themselves. If the government fails to adhere to this, dem go explain tire later!”
@flourish007 wrote, “I agree with you here, Mr. Senator, because one of the main reasons citizens should be allowed to carry firearms for self-defense is the fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.
In situations like this one where law enforcement isn’t available, individuals, including the driver and passengers, should have the means to defend themselves from potential threats.”
@lord_OboteAyo, on the other hand, said, “A country where small anger leads to chaos, e.g., road rage, some people committing crime at will, and you want to legalize firearms, you want to encourage more armed chaos? What happened to better security?”
@holardamolar said, “We need a working government, not guns.”How do you not see it? People are suffering heavily, and it’s inevitably skyrocketing the rate of social vices out there. Giving guns to the current Nigerians will only worsen the situation; the death rate will skyrocket, I promise you.”
3 Arrested With N6.4m Ransom Share During ‘Stop And Search’ In Kwara
The Police Command in Kwara State said it had arrested three suspected kidnappers with their share of ransom from recent operations while on stop and search duty.
The incident happened along Bode Saadu Road, Malete, Moro Local Government Area, when the officers intercepted a commercial vehicle around 11:50 hours on February 20, 2024.
Other items recovered from them include 7 assorted brands of mobile phones and 2 wristwatches.
The names of the suspects were given as Umar Usman, Mustapha Mohammed and Abubakar Kugu.
Speaking on the incident weekend, the state Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, said the suspects could not provide a satisfactory account of the items found in their possession.
“In the course of investigation, the suspects confessed to the crime of kidnapping. Usman admitted that he belongs to a gang of kidnappers operating in Yauri, Kebbi State and the money recovered from him was his share of their recent operation, wherein the gang received a ransom of N10 million from a victim named Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed.
“Similarly, Mohammed confessed that the money found in his possession was his share from the ransom received from the kidnapping of a resident of Bida, Niger State’, he added.
Olaiya said investigations are underway to unravel more information regarding the past exploits of the criminal gang.
According to him “This is with a view to recovering firearms used during their operations and apprehending other members of the gang before they will be arraigned in court”.
Police Nab Lecturer For Raping, Molesting Four Students In Yobe
The Yobe State Police Command has arrested Mr. Adamu Garba Hudu, a lecturer at Al-Ma’arif College of Health Science and Technology, Potiskum, a private school in Potiskum LGA of Yobe State over suspected case of rape.
The arrested lecturer is an employee of the state General Hospital, Potiskum, and a visiting lecturer at Al-Ma’arif, a private school of nursing in Potiskum, where the victims are schooling.
The suspect who is a Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing lecturer in the school was arrested after the allegation of raping one of his students and how he used to lure his students for ‘sex for grade’.
The suspect was arrested after raping the latest victim in his office at the General Hospital.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Yobe State Police Command, DSP Dungus Abdulkareem said the suspect was arrested by police on Tuesday for alleged ‘Rape, molestation and breach of trust and is going through further investigation’.
DSP Dungus said the lecturer was arrested over the allegation of molesting and raping students in the school where he is teaching and also in his office at state General Hospital, Potiskum.
He added that at least four students at the school are the victims of his sexual exploitation saying the accused is allegedly fond of sexually exploiting his students for grades.
“The suspect is in our custody. He was apprehended on Tuesday for alleged rape, molestation and breach of trust. Further investigation is ongoing,” the Police PRO said.
Insecurity: How bandits attack monarch, abducted wife, CSOs tell IGP
A coalition of civil rights organizations has urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, to ensure the swift release of the kidnapped pregnant wife of a traditional leader in Agbede, Edo State.
In a petition to the IGP, and signed on its behalf by Adeleye Taiwo, the coalition expressed deep concern over the distressing incident.
The coalition called upon the police hierarchy to deploy a specialized team to rescue the pregnant wife of Chief Alh. Mutairu Kabiru Igene, also known as Amari, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to the petition, the incident unfolded while Chief Mutairu Igene and his pregnant wife, Mrs. Mujanetu Kabiru Igene, were harvesting yams on their farm on February 28, 2024.
Armed men believed to be of Fulani descent launched a sudden attack, attempting to abduct the couple. Chief Mutairu Igene valiantly resisted the assailants but suffered severe injuries in the process.
Left wounded and unconscious, he was discovered in the bush the following morning and rushed to a private hospital, where he remains in the intensive care unit.
However, his pregnant wife, Mujanetu Igene, remains captive under deplorable conditions, enduring torture and humiliation.
Taiwo emphasized that time is of the essence as the pregnant woman lacks access to medical care, posing a significant risk to both her and her unborn child(ren).
He stated, “The pregnant woman is naturally in a state of vulnerability and weakness. Being abducted and forced to trek for several kilometers in the wilderness with her Chief husband hospitalized is the epitome of cruelty. We urge you to prioritize the release of the Chief and his wife.”
The armed men, suspected to be of Fulani origin as per eyewitness accounts, are demanding a ransom of N20 million for the release of the pregnant woman, adding to the anguish of the Agbede community.
The community has long faced threats from Fulani herds and armed men, resulting in the destruction of their crops and harm to their loved ones.
The CSOs noted that incidents of kidnapping in the Agbede region have reached a critical level, prompting many to abandon ancestral farmlands, which threatens food security and livelihoods.
The coalition further warned that failure to promptly release the Chief’s pregnant wife could lead to further protests and outrage in the community.
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