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20 killed in luxury bus robberies

Posted by By Kingsley Omonobi on 2005/04/27 | Views: 541 |

20 killed in luxury bus robberies


ABUJA- ABOUT 20 passengers were yesterday killed after armed robbers opened fire on five luxury buses on the Gwagwalada-Abuja expressway barely 12 hours after President Olusegun Obasanjo charged the police to put a stop to incessant attacks on such travellers.

ABUJA- ABOUT 20 passengers were yesterday killed after armed robbers opened fire on five luxury buses on the Gwagwalada-Abuja expressway barely 12 hours after President Olusegun Obasanjo charged the police to put a stop to incessant attacks on such travellers.

Also, only 24 hours earlier, the police hierarchy, Minister of Police Affairs, luxury bus owners and officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission had held a joint meeting in Abuja where they called for the building of observation posts at intervals of 10km along highways in the country to check robbery.


The buses involved in yesterday?s tragedy were two Chisco buses, two Ekwos buses and one belonging to Chinemere. Both the Chisco and the Ekwos buses were travelling from Yola to Lagos while the Chinemere bus was from Kaduna to Lagos.


According to eyewitnesses, the armed robbers, numbering about 30, laid an ambush at Gwarko at about mid-night where vehicles plying the road at night are robbed at random.


The robbery attack said to have lasted between three and four hours continued until luxury buses from the far north ran into them and in the attempt to stop one of the buses with gunshots, the driver lost control resulting in his vehicle somersaulting and killing some of the passengers.


Contacted on the incident, the DPO in charge of Gwagwalada police station, Mr. Duru, confirmed that the robbery attack took place between 11pm and 12am, adding that 25 persons sustained serious injuries and that they had been rushed to the hospital while the dead were taken to the mortuary. He added that a police Sergeant (Ahmedu) lost his life to the firepower of the robbers.


Giving an account of how the incident happened, which contrasted with that of another officer in the station, the DPO said "only six persons including the policeman lost their lives." He said when news of the robbery attack reached to his station, he dispatched a team of policemen to the scene, adding that it was as a result of the shoot-out between the police and the robbers that his officer was killed.


He confirmed, however, that the robbers laid ambush for buses plying the road and opened fire on luxury buses. He said the vehicle that lost control and somersaulted ran into an Hiace bus, impacting serious injuries on its occupants.


The communique issued by the joint meeting of stakeholders included:



that the use of police as escorts in buses can no longer contain the problem of robbery as the escorts have now become targets. Therefore, the use of escorts in buses be replaced by observation posts at intervals of 10km along the routes. This should be complemented by fully equipped police patrol teams;


that security is everybody?s responsibility and the operators should support the proposed system by helping to provide information and necessary logistics for effective take-off of the scheme;


that a six-day deadline should be given to all road users to remove the re-refitted extra headlamps in their vehicles in order to enhance safety on our highways;


that carrying of large sums of money should be discouraged by vigorous campaigns in prints and electronic media by all stakeholders; and


that the possibility of having the buses, observation posts and FRSC locations for rescue/recovery services linked by communication should be exploited.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.