Reports in recent times alleged that the security personnel attached to the construction firm, especially soldiers whose sole duty was to safe-guard properties and workers at the Ayakoromo bridge site has turned it to harassment stop and check point.
As it’s known, the river is the only transportation means by which the Izon-speaking people of the area travel, in their fishing occupation, and businesses but it has become a threat to commuters as these uniform men have abandoned their official duty for another which they were not sent to do.
While speaking to Thepeoplesvoicengr, victims of the recent harassment involving Mrs. Helen Boson who narrated her ordeal with these uniform men.
Boson who is a teacher in Ngbilebiri Primary School, Ayakoromo said that on Saturday 2nd April, 2022, she after the week work decided to join Mr. Amasingha Perekemefa, popularly known as Ozogbo, to Warri through Okwagbe.
Ozogbo is a transport businessman with a locally made wooden engine boat, plying Ayakoromo river to and from Okwagbe but it was a bad omen when the soldiers commanded to berthe their boat loaded with woods (going to Okwagbe to sell as usual) at the bridge bank.
In line with the popular “obey before complain” slogan, they obeyed but it turned out to be too much of harassment when the soldiers accused them of insubordination, and that the boat was used for bunkery, therefore the occupants must be punished.
The said victims further alleged that the soldiers asked the transporter, Ozogbo to jump down from the boat even after much plea to let them go. Ozogbo had injury on his leg but the process of jumping added to the pains which made him faint for some several minutes, and the situation became critical after which the soldiers reluctantly let them go as a result of the scary health condition.
Mrs Boson revealed that Ozogbo, the transporter has not recovered from the incident since, noting that he needs medical attention.
The alleged victims are using this medium to call on the leadership of Ayakoromo Federated Community, political leaders, the management of the construction company in charge of the Ayakoromo bridge project, Nigerian Military, and civil societies to caution the uniform men at the bridge site as this is not the only case in recent times to focus on why they were brought and not to unnecessarily harass unsuspecting users of the Ayakoromo River.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the security personnel were abortive at the time of this report.