Tragedy struck Monday morning as a graduate of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Miss Ella Williams, was gunned down by suspected herdsmen along the Benin-Ekpoma expressway.
Miss Williams was said to be travelling from Benin, her base, to Ekpoma to pick up her call-up letter, preparatory to the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, when the herdsmen opened fire on the bus she was travelling in, killing her on the spot while other passengers were abducted.
Announcing Williams death on his Facebook wall on Monday, a user, Asomba Andrew Egbuonu, wrote: “I received the devastating news of the demise of a young lady and a promising future of the Nigerian nation, Miss Ella Williams, in the hands of bloodthirsty and heartless herdsmen on the Benin-Ekpoma Road in Edo State.
“Miss Williams who has just graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, was said to have traveled from her Benin base to pick up her call-up letter. She never made it back as her vehicle was attacked by murderous marauders who ambushed vehicles by opening fire on them with their small arms (aka AK-47 assault guns) killing her on the spot. What a country where human lives have no value, especially to these emotion-less invaders.
“All over Nigeria, criminals and kidnappers plan and find ways of stopping vehicles before kidnapping their victims. This appears to be too much work for these roaming marauders who prefer to use their bullets indiscriminately to stop vehicles on highways, killing the drivers and any other unfortunate passengers, before kidnapping the leftover survivors and herding them into our vast ungoverned bushes and forests.”
According to him, “That this modus operandi has been used repeatedly with almost no consequence for these criminals is unacceptable. The Nigerian Government under the watch of our President cannot continue to claim helplessness and reign as Nigeria’s best are wasted all over Nigeria.
“Miss Williams is gone, lost to a nation in need of her brightest and best. Her parents are heartbroken; her friends and colleagues in deep shock; her killers are out there still demanding and waiting to collect ransom from the surviving passengers from last week’s murderous and senseless kidnapping; and the Nigerian State moves on as it is business as usual to our rulers.”
The Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Okene Road has become a haven for suspected herdsmen and kidnappers, who daily operate by firing shots at vehicles to stop the drivers and the passengers kidnapped for ransom. In the process, quite a number of passengers have been killed while many others have been injured.