By Phil Okose, Onitsha
Narrating her ordeal in the hand of the robbers to newsmen in Onitsha weekend, Mrs. Veronica Mgboche, said that, “I boarded a commuter bus at Oba, Idemili South local government area, to Ochanja market, to make some purchases on Saturday”.
“On approaching the Idemili river, one of the passengers sitting beside me shouted that everybody should turn face downwards and as he was making the order, a passenger behind me was given a dirty slap and he immediately surrendered his bag to the man beside him who slapped him. Within a twinkle of an eye, we all complied and they (robbers) at gun-point, collected all that we had”.
According to her, “they were four armed robbers excluding the driver, the conductor was doing the frisking and putting his hand into the private parts of the passengers, five of us, two men and three women. The conductor warned that whoever that disobeyed the order would be shot dead and corpse dropped on the highway.”
“Few minutes later we were ordered to quickly alight the bus and that whoever that delayed would continue the journey with them. As we came down, the vehicle sped off, turning the next lane at Upper Iweka fly-over and it was then that we realised we were dropped at the Upper Iweka fly-over”.
“None of us uttered a word as we were jittering as we could not believe what happened. Police road block was just a pole away from where they dropped us on top of the fly-over and I believed we must have passed at least one police road block as we were heading to Onitsha but nobody stopped the bus”, she added further.
“It was that day that I knew that security in the state was porous but I will not blame Governor Willie Obiano because he cannot be everywhere” she lamented.
Contributing, a man who simply identified himself as Chief Nwobia from Ebonyi state, stated that, “the scare on my face was when I was hit with an object by one of the armed robbers in a bus last month at Nkpor”.
He revealed that trouble started for him when, “we were ordered to surrender all that we had while the bus was speeding and I did not comply immediately and so the conductor hit me on the face with an object saying, did I not hear what Chief (leader) said.
Then I complied immediately even as blood was gushing out from my face and three of us lost what we had to them. They collected N30,000 meant for my child’s school fees and handset and I rushed to the nearby clinic when they dropped us at Upper Iweka fly-over.”
He urged for intensive search on commuter vehicles adding that the said fly-over, which has become the destination of the criminals should have a crack police team stationed there.