Okene Armed Robbery: ACN Seeks Suspension Of Night Travels By Passenger Buses
ABUJA, August 04, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the relevant authorities to work with luxury bus operators to suspend nigh travels, after 14 passengers of a luxury bus were reportedly crushed to death as they were being attacked by armed robbers along the Okene-Lokoja road in the early hours of Tuesday.
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said suspending such night journeys may be necessary to save the precious lives which are being lost frequently in similar armed robberies.
ACN said while it is aware that the Federal Road Safety Corps has been advising travellers against night trips in view of safety concerns, it may be necessary for the organisation to go a step further by working with the commuter bus operators to stop night travels until there is adequate security on the roads.
It also called on the federal government to act urgently to ensure the security of lives and property, saying security, along with welfare, is the raison d'etre of any government.
The party said on the same day that the heartless armed robbers put the hapless passengers on harm's way along the Okene-Lokoja road, another group of armed robbers used explosives to blow up a bank in Ilesha, Osun state, forcing all banks in the town to close shop.
''These are just a few recent cases in a series of armed attacks against ordinary Nigerians across the country. No government worth its salt will sit back and allow armed gangs to take over its roads and towns, as if we are living in a failed state,'' ACN said.
It expressed shock and disbelief at the sheer horror of the incident along the Okene-Lokoja road, in which passengers were made to lie face down on the road, only for oncoming vehicles to run over them.
''A similar mass deaths, caused by robbers who attacked a passenger bus, was said to have occurred in the past, even though it was denied by the authorities. Whatever happens, we should never allow this horrific incident to happen again in our country, even when we seem to have now become so numb that news of such deaths only dominate the media for a few days before disappearing from the headlines,'' ACN said.
The party commended Gov. Ibrahim Idris of Kogi for promptly visiting the survivors of the attack in the hospital, and offering to foot the bill for their treatment, saying such show of concern by people in positions of authority could be a soothing balm at times like this.
It also commiserated with the families of the victims, saying the only way to ensure they did not die in vain is to prevent a recurrence.