Resident of Orji and Okigwe Road in Owerri Imo State are presently suffering once it is 6:00 PM because they will hardly see vehicles to take them home.
OtownGist in a bid to unravel the mystery discovered that the major cause of the issue is centered on the activities of security agents in the state capital.
A steady checkpoint at Orji Flyover has become a big issue for drivers as the police officers who are always there every evening do not always care about the traffic situation as long as they are extorting money from both commercial and private drivers.
A passenger told us that the police officers care about nothing but the money they are collecting from drivers and from passengers in some cases.
He said that it is a sad situation which will make people spend close to an hour or more on a 10 minutes’ drive.
“The police are not helping matters and the worst should the Imo Civil Guard operatives who in most cases only pay attention to seeing to the safe passage of flashy cars so they will be tipped”
“No one cares about controlling the traffic or enforcing any law, money is just all they want and I wonder what they do with their salaries at the end of the month”, the passenger said.
A commercial bus driver said they usually avoid the Okigwe Road axis because of Police harassment.
He said that most evenings a group of fierce-looking ununiformed officers position close to Owerri Prisons and they either extort drivers or order some passengers out of the vehicle.
“Close to prisons, they will order everyone out of the bus, pick a few passengers and tell the driver to leave. We don’t know what they do with the passengers; they don’t wear uniforms and they are never with police vehicles”
“They can double-cross you anytime they like and such things are scary because you don’t really know when it will be criminals”
“The ones at Orji flyover will search everyone and when there is nothing to be found, they will accuse anyone they like just to hold them there”
“No driver wants such delays, so we have to avoid those routes by that time”, the driver said.
He said that they understand that their decision is causing a lot of people to suffer, but they cannot do anything about it because they are out for business and will always go through the best routes.
Activities of unknown gunmen at the Owerri Correctional Facility and Orji flyover recently have ensured that those location often have police or military checkpoints, but the recent activities which often force people to trek home or even pay more than they are supposed is a thing of concern.
An Orji resident said that the problem is that no one knows who to report to because they police will always have their reasons, adding that the best solution is to cry so that people outside the location will understand what they are going through in that area.
Okigwe road is a very important route linking Imo State University, Orji, Mbieri, Akabo, Amaraku and Okigwe.