19th September, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt
Concerned members of Kalabari communities in Rivers have lashed out at Governor Nyesom Wike over poor state of Emohua-Kalabari road which they are blaming as the reasons for incessant kidnapping on the expressway.
The latest of such kidnappings was on Saturday, September 17, along the road in Rivers State when gunmen hijacked a bus and kidnapped five passengers.
The Emohua-Kalabari road which is the only expressway that connects the three Kalabari ethnic nationality populated local governments of Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Elder Statesman and former spokesman for Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Anabs Sara-Igbe, who is also of the Kalabari ethnic stock slammed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike over his alleged refusal to fix the bad section of the road.
He said that it was disappointing to note that despite the regular kidnapping of commuters on the only link road to the three Kalabari land, Governor Wike has not shown concern.
Anabs Sara-Igbe reminded the Governor that the bulk of the 13 percent derivation funds which the state government enjoys comes from the three Kalabari ethnic nationality that are crude oil producing areas.
“I say it over and over again,the Governor Wike does not care about our people. Why has refused to fix the bad portion of that road that the kidnappers have hiding to abduct our people?”
“He swore to an oath to protect lives and properties, are the Kalabaris not part of those he swore to protect?
Speaking in the same vein, a Public Affairs Analyst, Opunabo Inko-Tariah and former special adviser media to Governor Wike who is also a prominent Kalabari son, decried the recurrent kidnappings on the road.
He blamed the situation on the inability of the state government to fix the failed portion on the link road.
Inko-Tariah also cautioned State Government from opening the the newly commissioned Campus of the Rivers State University,RSU,in Emohua as the lives and property of Students would be in jeopardy.
He said the criminals operating on the Emohua-Kalabari road would ultimately feast on the students and Lecturers if the bad spot is not fixed and adequate security mounted on the link road.
The Chairman of Rivers State Civil Societies Organization, Enefaa Georgewill,also condemned the incessant kidnappings on that road. He wondered why the State Government has refused to work on bad portions of the road.
He also said the security agencies should have taken action to curb kidnapping on the road.
However, Rivers State Police Command said it has commenced investigation into the kidnap of five passengers on Saturday, September 17, along the Emohua-Kalabari road in Rivers State.
Police spokesperson, SP Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed the kidnap incident and the eventual release of the driver of the vehicle.
She said that the Commissioner of Police, CP Eboka Friday, had directed Officers of tactical units of Anti-kidnapping to swing into action and investigate the incident and ensure the rescue of passengers.