The abduction of a driver and 11 passengers of a Bayelsa-Abuja bound bus by unknown gunmen operating in Kogi State has raised concerns among residents in Yenagoa.
The commercial vehicle belonging to De-Prize Transport Company, which is based in Yenagoa, was reportedly attacked by vicious gunmen, who blocked the highway on Wednesday evening.
It was learnt that two of the passengers were shot by the gunmen, one of them was said to have fortunately escaped from the assailants while others were led into a bush in Kogi.
While the fates of the two shot passengers were unknown, it was learnt that the kidnappers contacted the transport company and demanded N50m to free the driver.
The marauders were reportedly calling family members of their victims to make different ransom demands.
Investigations revealed that the next-of-kins to the passengers were invited for meetings with the management of the company to deliberate on the issue but failed to show up.
The incident was said to have disturbed the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Central Zone led by Kennedy Olorogun.
Olorogun said he was at the transport company to identify the passengers in the bus through the firm’s manifest.
He condemned the development and called on the kidnappers to release the victims unconditionally.
He lamented the increasing risks involved in road transport in the country and appealed to security agencies to intensify their efforts in securing the highways especially during the Yuletide.
Olorogun said: “It is disheartening that people no longer travel freely in this country especially along the Kogi-Abuja corridor. We are saddened by the development and we appeal to the kidnappers to release our people unconditionally.
“We are also calling on security agencies especially those in Kogi and other gateway states to Abuja to increase their efforts to ensure the roads at their domains are safe”. (The Nation)