Youths in Edo State on Wednesday blocked the Ehor axis of the Benin – Auchi- Okenne Highway over kidnapping by suspected criminal herdsmen.
The protest and blockade at the Ehor axis in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state left hundreds of commuters stranded as some travelers were forced to go through Agbor road in Delta State from Benin City because of the blockade.
The protest and blackade followed the death of a degree graduate of Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma, Miss Ella Williams who was reportedly gunned down along that road while on her way to school.
Miss Williams was said to be travelling from Benin, her base, to Ekpoma to pick up her Call-up letter, preparatory to the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, programme, when the killer herdsmen reportedly opened fire on the vehicle she was travelling in, killing her on the spot while other passengers were abducted.
A resident in the village, Francis Okhomina said five persons were shot in the area on Monday by suspected kidnappers and that two of them died while three were injured.
He said, “Everywhere is blocked, there is no way to pass here since 6 am. These Fulani men have been kidnapping people and taking them into the bush. Our people have become scared. Two days ago, they shot five people there, two died and three survived and they are in the hospital so our people became angry and they took over the road, the road users have to go and pass through Ughoneki going to Auchi.
“The police have tried, the vigilantes have been trying but it is like these people have better arms so they cannot do as much as we expect so the youths are angry that is why they have taken over the road.”
As at the time of filing this report, the police was yet to make official reaction as repeated calls to the line of the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Kontongs Bello were not picked.
The Benin-Ekpoma-Auch-Okene Road has become a haven for suspected herdsmen and kidnappers, who daily operate by firing shots at vehicles to stop the drivers to stop and the passengers kidnapped for ransom. In the process, quite a number of passengers have been killed while many others have been injured.