Abiodun OBA

Angry youths on Wednesday, blocked the Benin – Auchi- Okenne Highway over activities of kidnappers  suspected to be herdsmen which on Monday resulted in the death of a Masters of Science 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.

Many of the travelers had to now go through Agbor road in Delta state from Benin City because of the blockade.

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.”

It was a black  for students of  as one of them a graduate, was allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen.

Recall that  on Monday, Miss Ella Williams who graduated from Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, with a Masters of Science degree in Architecture was killed by suspected herdsmen while travelling from Benin, to pick up her call-up letter at the University’s main campus in preparation for the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), programme.

The tragic incident which allegedly occurred  along the kidnapper-infested Benin-Auchi highway, was made known by a Facebook user, Asomba Andrew Egbuonu.

Egbuonu said the herdsmen opened fire on the bus she was travelling in, killing her on the spot, while other passengers in the bus were abducted and taken into the thick forest by the hoodlums.

Asomba Andrew Egbuonu wrote on his Facebook page: “I received the devastating news of the demise of a young lady and a promising future of the Nigerian nation, Miss Ella Williams, in the hands of blood-thirsty and heartless herdsmen on the Benin–Ekpoma Road in Edo State.

“Miss Williams who has just graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma was said to have travelled from her Benin base to pick up her Call-up.

“She never made it back as her vehicle was attacked by murderous marauders who ambushed vehicles by opening fire on them with their small arms (aka AK47 Assault guns) killing her on the spot. What a country where human lives have no value, especially to these emotion-less invaders”, Egbuonu added.

“All over Nigeria, criminals and kidnappers plan and find ways of stopping vehicle before kidnappings their victims.

“This appears to be too much work for these roaming marauders who prefer to use their bullets indiscriminately to stop vehicles on highways, killing the drivers and any other unfortunate passengers, before kidnapping the leftover survivors and herding them into our vast ungoverned bushes and forests.

“That this modus operandi has been used repeatedly with almost no consequence for these criminals is unacceptable. The Nigerian government under the watch of our President cannot continue to claim helplessness and reign as Nigeria’s best are wasted all over Nigeria.

“Miss Williams is gone, lost to a nation in need of her brightest and best. Her parents are heartbroken; her friends and colleagues in deep shock; her killers are out there still demanding and waiting to collect ransom from the surviving passengers from last week’s murderous and senseless kidnapping; and the Nigerian State moves on as it is business as usual to our rulers.”

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.

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