Igbo traders residing in Nasarawa State have decried the continuous nefarious acts of armed robbers as well as bandits’ attack on their members along intercity roads, highways and markets across the state.
President-elect of Igbo Cultural Association (ICA) in Nasarawa State, Mr. Cyril Ibeh Cyril, who disclosed this in an interview, called on the Nasarawa State government to beef-up security in all markets, intercity roads and highways across the state to reduce attacks on traders by armed robbers.
Cyril said that the incidents have led to the death of many Igbo traders, with others severely injured apart from losing valuables worth millions of naira.
He pointed out that hoodlums and bandits constantly operate on the Awe/Daddare Road, where they waylay traders on their way back from market and rob them of their money and valuables.
Another highway that has become a source of concern is the Lafia/Assakio/Namu Road. Cyril described it as one of the most dangerous roads to pass in the evening when traders from different villages close for businesses and are on their way back home.
“Armed robbers have made that highway their home as they brazenly accost traders and rob them of their belongings. We are really worried over the activities of these robbers because many of our members have become victims. We are appealing to security operatives to beef up security presence in these roads,” he pleaded.
“One other road that has become a nightmare is the Lafia/Makurdi Road. You know our traders board night buses, especially those going to Onitsha and other south eastern states to buy goods. Most of them board buses from the New Garage here in Lafia but unfortunately they are always robbed either before Kadarko or after Kadarko in Obi LGA – another dangerous spot in Benue State. We know that the state government is capable of collaborating with the Benue State government to address these menaces so that traders and other commuters can ply the road safely.”
The President-elect recalled a recent incident which took place along the rice mill area in Lafia where two Igbo traders were crushed to death by a truck. The victims were ordered to lie faced down on the road by robbers as a truck (Tipper) approached. When the robbers tried to stop the vehicle, the driver refused and instead crushed the two people to death.
Cyril applauded the Igbos as hardworking people who believe in themselves and do not depend on the government for their daily bread, saying, “All we need from the government is to create an enabling environment by beefing-up security in all the major roads, highways and markets including village markets to enable us pursue our legitimate businesses because 99 percent of Igbos residing in Nasarawa State are traders, the remaining one percent are teachers and few artisans.”
He added, “To be honest, the police and security agents have been doing very well to protect our people and they demonstrated that during the quit notice threat by some northern youths last October. What is disturbing us now is the increased cases of armed robbery on the highways and markets or shops within Lafia, the state capital. Security should also be beefed-up in roads linking villages with recognised markets to protect traders against robbery attacks particularly on markets days.”