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Commercial activities were brough to a halt in Uturu Community in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State as the youths of the community blocked the Uturu/Okigwe highway to protest incessant Kidnapping by suspected herdsmen and bandits along the road.
The protest is coming 48 hours after seven passengers were allegedly abducted on the road. The protesters who weilded sticks and placards urged both Abia and Imo State Governments to urgently take action against the menace.
One of the protesters who pleaded anonymity told newsmen that the people “are now living in fear of murderous herdsmen and bandits who now operate with impunity.”
He said that apart from commuters who have become preys to the bandits people of the community are now afraid to go to farm because of “the activities of these herdsmen” .
Another community source who spoke with Vanguard, said that Uturu/Okigwe axis had become another hot bed for bandits in the recent times.
The source which also pleaded for anonymity for fear of being trailed, said that the most annoying thing was that security agencies had abandoned the people to their fate.
” We are tired of living in fears. We want Government to come to our aids.
” Two days ago seven passengers coming to Uturu from Okigwe were kidnapped by these boys who are now demanding N10 million ransom for each of the victims.
” Since Monday bandits and herdsmen with AK 47 have been kidnapping people on this road.
” The anger of our youths is that we have about six security checkpoints between Uturu and Okigwe but these boys keep operating without any hindrances.”
Kidnapping for ransom has become so rampant around Uturu and Okigwe vicinity.