Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

ALBON cries to Buhari for security on highways, morns killed members, passengers

Interstate and long distance bus owners, the Association of Luxury Bus Owners (ALBON), has called on the Federal Government to come to their rescue on the highways considering the surging cases of deadly armed robbery attacks in recent times.

The association specifically called on government to set up a special anti-crime squad to maintain a 24-surveillance and patrol on the notorious robbery black spots on the identified highways nationwide.

In an anger laden reaction to the recent murder of the driver of a Jos-bound luxury bus by robbers weekend, at a checkpoint along Ugbokolo Road in Benue State, the group said almost on a daily basis, its drivers, conductors and passengers have lost their lives and valuables along major expressways in parts of the country.

ALBON President, Chief Dan Okemuo, therefore appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to help institute a 24-hour surveillance on the highways to make mass transportation safer and more secure for both operators and the travelling public especially now the ‘Ember’ months are approaching.

According to him, “These attacks occur in different areas of the country and have increased in both intensity and viciousness, resulting in the death of many of our innocent drivers, bus conductors and passengers”.

Continuing, he stated that the latest attack was over the weekend when a luxury bus belonging to Chi-Boy Express, from Aba to Jos, encountered the robbery gang at Ugbokolo and the driver, Nonso Nweze, was shot dead.

Chief Okemuo also revealed that similar incident played out (from early morning till about noon) two months ago at Okada on the Ore-Benin Road, following the killing of a luxury bus driver during a robbery operation.

He revealed ;the most notorious roads’ in recent times to include Lagos-Ore-Benin Expressway, especially the area covering Ofosu, Okada Town and Benin by-pass, Okene-Lokoja and Jos-Akwanga-Lafia Makurdi, especially at Kadoroko.

Other dark spots include Makurdi-Alaide-Oturukpo-Obollo-9th Mile road, especially at Ugbokolo.

ALBON boss noted that “Between the months of July and August, 2017 alone, we have lost at least three of our drivers and a bus conductor on the Ore-Benin Road and at the Ugbokolo on Makurdi-Alaide-Oturkpo-Obollo-9th Mile road. And these attacks have continued unabated resulting in the killing and maiming of our drivers, bus conductors and innocent passengers. Unless the Police high command rises to the challenge, these reckless and relentless attacks would ruin our businesses completely”.

“We are aware of the security challenges facing our dear country and the efforts the Federal Government and the Nigeria Police are making to curtail the menace. But, it does appear that the more efforts the Police make, the more audacious and daring these criminal elements become.”

He therefore called for a high powered investigation on why “these cases of armed attacks on our buses and passengers have continued without ceasing, every day and every night on these routes, especially at Ofusu/Okada Town on Ore-Benin road and at Lafia, Kadoroko and Ugbokolo, despite the fact that the Edo, Nasarawa and Benue state commands of the Police are aware of their continued re-occurrence.”