By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
The police Roadblocks in Delta State has brought in nutold hadship, harassment of citizens, intimidation, unwarranted delayed to joneys and sometimes unlawful arrest. The daily increase of police intimidation and road worredness to highway users is now very worrisome and alarming in the state.
Thus the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State Council has raised the alarm over the return of roadblocks mounted in various parts of Delta State by officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammad Abubakar Adamu, by the leadership of the NUJ Delta State Council to explain if Delta State is exempted from the ban on roadblocks in Nigerian highways.
The union in it’s body, condemning the trend as ugly, wondered if the ban on roadblocks by the Inspector Geneŕal of Police (IGP) exempted Delta State, stressing that the situation showcases the state as unsafe to visitors and even investors.
Meanwhile a statement issued by the council, described the roadblocks as opportunity to forcefully collection of money from travelers, Road users, violation of human rights and sometimes violence by the police on duties, adding that the practice had subjected Deltans and motorists plying roads in Delta State to untold Lamentations and tears as they no longer enjoy traveling business in the state.
The NUJ council, in the statement endorsed by its Chiarman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu and Secretary, Comrade Churchill Oyowe, accused the policè personnel on patrol of operating under the guise of staging nipping points for routine checks to mount road block.
” We are at a crossroad as to whether Delta State is exempted from the ban on road blocks. We cannot see why the police personnel under Delta Command will flagrantly flout the order of the IGP pretending to be staging nipping points for routine checks whereas what we see on ground are full blown roadblocks for distorbing smooth flow of traffic, intimidation, extortion and unwarranted arrests” the statement said.
Continuing, the statement adds: “A journey from Warri to Agbor alone has over 10 road block. From Koko Junction to Effurun Roundabout we have over eight roadblocks. What are they all checking? It is uncalled for, they should fashion out better ways to track down criminals rather than subject innocent people to untold hardship continuously.”
“It is worrisome to say that police in Delta State now carry lower denominations of our currency to make change handy at checkpoints to facilitate the illegal acts and any attempt by motorists to disobey parting with stipulated amount, usually attracts intimidation, harassment, undue delay and possible arrest. This act also takes place in the capital city of Asaba where the Police Headquarters is situated.”
The council called on the State Commissioner of Police to put his officers on patrol in check before the trend snowballs into a crisis situation.