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DEATH ZONE: Cultists, hoodlums turn Emenike Junction, in Port Harcourt, to one of the riskiest areas in Rivers State

Posted by Sun News Online on 2007/03/28 | Views: 1218 |

DEATH ZONE: Cultists, hoodlums turn Emenike Junction, in Port Harcourt, to one of the riskiest areas in Rivers State


Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital, has only two major roads - Port Harcourt/Aba expressway and Ikwerre Road. After the chaotic traffic bottleneck at Eleme Junction (linking the east/west Road ) and the Garrison Junction (linking Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout) the next place where chaos reigns, like a maddening cow, is the Emenike Junction along the Ikwerre Road , which links the township with the D/Line and Diobu Areas.

Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital, has only two major roads - Port Harcourt/Aba expressway and Ikwerre Road. After the chaotic traffic bottleneck at Eleme Junction (linking the east/west Road ) and the Garrison Junction (linking Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout) the next place where chaos reigns, like a maddening cow, is the Emenike Junction along the Ikwerre Road , which links the township with the D/Line and Diobu Areas.

At both Eleme and Garrison Junctions, it is common to see scores of policemen controlling traffic at the same time and dealing with unruly drivers and irritant commercial motorcyclist, popularly called Okada. However, at Emenike Junction, you can hardly see any policeman standing at the stand controlling traffic, a situation which has made crossing the Junction a nightmare for motorist and other road users.

Policemen sent by the nearby Diobu Police, Division (just two poles away) hide inside shops, food canteens and hair plaiters shades nearby and watch the chaos till their schedule expires and they return to the station to sign off rather than doing their work. Occasionally, they would dash out from their hideout to collect between N20 and N100 from bus drivers and then dash back.

The million naira question is, “why do traffic wardens fear to work at Emenike Junction”? Reason: The junction has turned to a flash point where cultist and militiamen engage each other in gun duel or simply to intimidate the nearby police division with their superior fire power.

Just a forth night ago, cult boys, numbering four, in commercial bus and decked in complete black attire, had parked at the junction and opened fire without any provocation, just in a brazen display of bravado. Seven persons, including a suya seller, two women and innocent passersby, were gunned down.

Although Diobu Police Division was two poles from the junction, and even with the staccato sound of the cultist machine guns, which boomed for about 15 minutes, no policeman responded till they (cultists) left.

It was an evening of fear and stampede. The men from hell had chosen the peak period of the day (6pm) when traffic chaos had reached its boiling point to strike. As the guns started booming okada riders, pedestrians, motorists, all abandoned their vehicles and motorcycles and ran away. The adjoining houses and offices were filled with people who ran in for cover.

As one observer puts it,” what would have happened if policemen were at the stand controlling traffic?”
When policemen eventually arrived in their rickety vehicle, they started arresting innocent people rather than going after the gunmen who headed towards the Okija section of the junction
As if that incident was not enough, the traffic control stand itself was pulled down the next day. Besides, there is hardly any day one doesn’t hear gunshots at the junction, either from cultist or policemen following bullion vans.

The unwillingness of the policemen to work at the junction is giving road users cause for concern, especially owing to traffic jam, which stretching many metres away at all points of the intersection.
Recently, Daily Sun accosted a female traffic warden who was sitting with hair stylists at the nearby corner rather than doing her job and this was the encounter:

Reporter: “Officer, why are you sitting here instead of doing your work? Can’t you see the chaos going on because no one is controlling the traffic?
Policewoman: Abi you don know wetin dey happen for this junction? You wan make I stand there and be killed?”.

Reporter: “I will report you to your DPO that you don’t want to do your work”.
Policewoman: (Laughed hilariously) DPO nko? He sits at his office right up there and sees wetin go on at this junction. If him life dey duplicate make him come down here and control the traffic himself”.

Getting the DPO of Diobu Police Division to comment on the problem was not possible, but a senior office at the station told Daily Sun that beside the junction being a flash point, both in the day and night, almost all the traffic control stands had been pulled down by unknown persons, making it difficult for the policemen to do their work. He said until the authorities took measures to secure the lives of the policemen at the traffic control post they would continue to avoid it.



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Comments (6)

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding