By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
A traveller who recently survived a hair-raising encounter with unknown gunmen in Ihiala, Anambra State, has given a gripping account of his narrow escape from seemingly imminent death. The experience of the man, Ossy Adubasim, an Anambra indigene, gives a good idea of the high level of insecurity along Ukpor – Lilu – Orsumoghu – Azia – Mbosi Road.
Narrating his experience in a viral video, Adubasim said the attack happened along the Mbosi section of the Road in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state on Saturday (February 19, 2022) while he was on his way from the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, to Ukwulu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State.
His account: “I had left Port Harcourt (PH) on Thursday, February 17, 2022 for my village, Ukwulu, Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State for the burial and funeral ceremony of my late cousin. On our way from PH, the number of security checkpoints were unnecessarily too many.
“At Okija, we spent substantial amount of time to cross a police checkpoint. When I got to the exact point of check, I mentioned to the officer to release the line because the distance had stretched too far, and he said “Yes Sir”.
“I was travelling with my cousin, and I told him that the point of the security checkpoint is wrong. Vehicles coming from the Onitsha lane had stretched over 500 meters across a bridge and downhill. It was an accident waiting to happen.
We finished the burial activities on Friday February 18, 2022 and stayed for better part of Saturday before we set out to return to PH. When we approached Okija, we saw long lines of vehicles; we expected that based on the experience of previous two days, but the story was different.
“We were told that an articulated vehicle (trailer) had lost control on descending that hill the previous day and had crushed many people to death. In that chaos, motorists began to be unruly and the police unleashed teargas to enable them escape.
“They escaped but the people refused to disperse. All the articulated vehicles (trailers) decided to block the road in protest for the police maltreatment. That was how we joined other motorists to divert and drive through Nnewi, Ukpor and Orsumoghu.
“As we climbed the road breaker to enter Mbosi town in Ihiala LGA, my cousin spotted a white Toyota Hilux truck pulling out from the side of the road. As I watched from my rear view mirror, it was unmistakable that we were the targets. They were driving so fast to catch up with me. By the way, I was driving a Toyota Tundra truck. I sped up immediately and what would turn out like a James Bond movie ensued. For almost a kilometre, we were jumping all the road bumps. I in the lead and speeding like hell.
“After about a kilometre, they started shooting at us. I wasn’t deterred, and just continued to drive. They eventually hit one of my rear tyres, but I didn’t stop. The entire road was littered with abandoned vehicles, and there was pandemonium everywhere.
“And then God showed me mercy, God showed up for me! At the point when my vehicle was barely moving, they stopped, turned around and left. I managed another 200 meters before I drove into a mechanic workshop, jumped out with my cousin and ran. Everybody started running and another pandemonium ensued. To cut the long story short, after about 30 minutes, we surveyed the area and managed to get some Good Samaritans to change our tyre and proceeded on our journey to PH.
“Please join me in thanking God for His kindness, Love, Mercy and Protection. I don’t know what I did for God to warrant such love and mercy.
“Please be careful if you must travel through Ihiala. The locals told us that they now live in fear, and that some towns around Ihiala and Orlu in Imo State have been totally occupied by these people.
“May the name of the Lord be praised always.”
News Express reports that an Nnewi-born billionaire and Chairman/CEO of Ofoma Associates Ltd., Chief Gabriel Ofoma, was recently murdered along that same road by the unknown gunmen while he was on his way returning to Port Harcourt from the East.
Credit: NEWS EXPRESS.