One person was reportedly killed and money snatched when daredevil armed robbers again unleashed attacks on the Calabar-Ikom highway.
This highway, especially the Uyanga axis in Akamkpa LGA, Cross River State, has become notorious for armed robbery attacks and kidnapping.
No fewer than 15 persons have been abducted between last month and now.
The military were reported to have put up a presence in the axis following appeal by the State Governor to the Federal Government.
Eyewitnesses said the armed robbers had heavy weapons and had released bullets into vehicles, hitting two persons.
Trending video of the attack showed how a black jeep riddled with bullet holes.
Commenting on increasing attacks on the only access road from Calabar to the northern part of the state, Mr Iwara Iwara, journalist and on-air-personality on HIT 95.9 FM, Calabar, said between Adim and Abini communities, there have been brazen armed robbery attacks on that short span of the highway.
He said that the incessant attacks is presently hitting an all time high.
“No week passes without robbery attacks at this flashpoint.
“Commuters, especially market women, traveling to the early morning markets in Okom-Ita in Akamkpa LGA and Calabar, have sad stories to tell. While they have been repeatedly robbed of huge sums of business money, some of the women have been sexually violated and reprieve does not seem to be in sight,” he said.
Over the weekend, the clan head of Akpet Nation, HRH Sunday Evong raised the alarm over massive presence of strange men and armed thugs in their surrounding forests reportedly hired by illegal miners to intimidate locals.
“Lots of crimes and abductions have been traceable to them”, he told journalists on Sunday, December 4, 2022.
The State Police PRO, SP Irene Ugbo said their men are investigating the attacks.
9 Travellers Kidnapped Along Calabar-Ikom Highway By Suspected Herdsmen
At least nine persons were on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, kidnapped by suspected herdsmen along Calabar-Ikom highway in Cross River state.
Confirming the incident late Tuesday, November 15, 2022, to Vanguard on telephone, the Cross River state Commissioner of Police, CP Sule Balarabe said the incident took place at 17:15 hours along the Calabar-Ikom Highway.
According to him ” The hoodlums numbering about 15 attacked the travellers with automatic weapons while abducting some of them, but number of missing persons can’t be ascertained for now.
Balarabe also revealed that he has dispatched tactical teams/Units to the area and the Nigeria Army have also joined in combing the area in a bid to rescue the victims unharmed.
“When I saw the video I immediately dispatched tactical teams including Anti Kidnapping Squad amongst others to the area.
“I have about six tactical units on ground, the Nigeria Army have also joined in the search and rescue operation to comb the area.
“We are doing our best at the moment, and I can assure you it will be adequately handled,” CP Balabare said.
Vanguard observed in two separate videos of 52 and 56 seconds making the rounds, two drivers who spoke separately, one coming from Ikom to Calabar and the other one coming from Calabar claimed that gunmen suspected to be herdsmen came out from the bush and opened fire on their vehicles
One of them said ” I was in front going to Ikom, he (referring to the other driver) he was coming from Calabar, before you know it we saw herdsmen come out from the bush and started shooting at us.
“I had to reserve, he too did the same we collided in the process because they shot one of my tires, I jumped out of the car, they took all my six passengers with them.
On his part, the second driver claimed that they took nine-person in all into the forest.
“They were with guns and machetes, they took nine people into the forest, they are not armed robbers, they are kidnappers,” he said.