Not Fewer Than Five Injured, As Hoodlums Attack AKPAVEN drivers In Calabar

Not Fewer Than Five Injured, As Hoodlums Attack AKPAVEN drivers In Calabar

There was pandemonium in Calabar as suspected hoodlums laid siege to truck drivers, hijacked two trucks belonging to AKPAVEN Integrated Services Ltd, beating and injuring truck drivers.

Not less than five drivers were injured by the hoodlums whose reasons for the attack is still undisclosed.

It was also gathered that the attackers allegedly took away two trucks belonging to AKPAVEN and abandoned the injured drivers in a pool of their own blood.

Reacting to the attack, the Project Manager of Akpaven Integrated Service Limited, Engr. John Ejue frowned at such attack, stating that he is strongly against every act of violence that will endanger societal peace.

John also mentioned that the aim of the attack by the hoodlums is still unknown to them.

His words; “On the 9th of April 2021, we were having a smooth operation, I got a call that some unknown people had gone to the Boro-pit to attack our drivers with an undisclosed identity.”

“At that point, we has to get our security personnel to see how we can intervene. Even when the security men went to the scene of the incident, the hoodlums still overwhelmed the situation. They took two of our trucks to an unknown destination.”

“We called the Police who gave us the assurance that we are secured, on that note, we started our operations again. 10 days later (19th April, 2021) we were here to receive the World Bank team for the normal routine inspection. While waiting to receive the team, we got another report that these people have come again. And before we knew what was happening, they were here at the gate.”

“They came with undisclosed aim, what they want we don’t know, they beat up our drivers that they met along the road, not until Police scare them aware with tear gas.”

One of the affected driver told news men that the hoodlums kept punching and hitting him because he refused to release the truck key to them.

“Last two weeks, we were attacked by unknown men, they hijacked our trucks which we can’t find till today. While I was going to Boro-pit, getting to Scanobo junction, I saw some of our drivers running, the road was blocked, I was asked by others to park and run. Before I knew it, they grabbed me and started hitting me on my face and kept asking me to give them the key of my truck.”

“They kept on punching and hitting me till my key fell on the ground and my glasses broke too. When they got the key from me, they left me, that was how I was able to escape.” The truck driver said.

Another affected driver with swollen eyes also added that he stopped them(hoodlums) from taking away one of the trucks by blocking the road with his own truck which led to them beating the hell out of him.

“I was the driver that blocked one of the truck to prevent the hoodlums from taking the truck away. When they realised I had blocked the truck, four unknown men came to my truck, drag my door open and started beating and punching me, that I should move away from the road. That they were sent by the governor, and if I don’t leave the road, they will take me to the governor’s office.” He said.

On their part, members of Ikot Nkebre community debunk rumors making rounds that they have two factions in the community which has led to the attack.

The former youth leader of Ikot Nkebre community, Etim Edem Effiom insinuated that they allowed the hoodlums into the community on claims that they were sent by the governor.

“I want to use this medium to be very sincere with everybody, as far as this community is concern, we’ve kept peace in this community. A toad does not run in the day time for nothing. They(hoodlums) did not come with a personal vehicle, they came with a government hilux, because no one will just cone into a community with a government vehicle.”

“When I tried to find out from them what really is going on, they said ” The governor sent us”. I will say it and not be afraid even if I die tomorrow. With this gully problem that has affected our community, we are grateful to the company for such intervention. We don’t allow people into our community, but we allowed them because they said the governor sent them.” Etim Edem said.

Also speaking, the former secretary of Ikot Nkebre community, Joseph Etim added that the Ikot Nkebre people are one and have always cooperated with the project.

He also said the news making rounds on social media that Ikot Nkebre has two factions is not true, that they had agreed from the on set, they would create an enabling environment for the business to strive and for the work to commence.

Joseph added that there has been no case of attack on drivers or staff of Akpaven by the host community, that they are known as peace loving people.

Meanwhile, the Project Director, Akpaven Integrated Service Limited, Engr. George Brown has written a petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), to institute investigation into the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The petition, which fingered one Emmanuel Mbora as the mastermind of the attack and called for him and his accomplices be brought to book for “act of thuggery, threat to life, malicious damage among others.”

George also mentioned that Akpaven has up-to-date records of payments and have presented these documents to government officials, clearly stating that they are not owing any revenue.

He also added that the hoodlums has never for one day come to the site, demanding for any revenue from them, neither has any letter been sent to them to that effect. So they are shocked why the experienced an attack from the hoodlums. It was based on that they wrote a petition to the office of the AIG, Zone 6.

In his words; “From the evidence made available to us, the hoodlums were using government vehicles. In the previous attack where our drivers were attacked on the road, very close to Boro-pit, two of our vehicles were impounded and taken to cultural centre.”

“Information available to us shows that those hoodlums are working for government, we made a petition to the office of the AIG in regards to this effect and from investigation, one Mr Emmanuel Mbora was arrested had he made a confessional statement that he is working for the government of Cross River State.”

“To our greatest surprise, in all these, the so called Emmanuel Mbora has not come up with any demand for a revenue from us. The agency that is directly responsible for collections of all those levies is the Cross River State Internal Revenue Service. From all records available to us, we have up-to-date records of payments and we presented these evidence of payments recently to the government officials, clearly stating that we are not owing any revenue.”

“We are so surprised that Emmanuel Mbora and his group can deploy violence in trying to drive revenue for Cross River State. They have never for one day, demanded for any revenue from us, neither has any letter been sent to us to that effect. So we were shocked. It is based on that we wrote a petition to the office of the AIG Zone 6.”

“We have written to the agency that awarded us this contract, we have also cried out to the Nigerian Police Force that has the constitutional responsibility to protect our citizens, we have equally written to every other government agencies, we have also alerted the office of the Permanent Secretary Security Matters in Cross River State of the threat.”

“We have asked our workers to stay at home, the site is currently empty. The work for the main time has been temporarily shutdown, pending when the issue will be resolved. We have also cried out to the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project(NEWMAP), they are yet to respond as regards to security of our lives, the properties and equipments.”

Oluchi Omai

Oluchi Omai is a Blogger/ Content Creator, he is a prolific writer and movie maker.

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