Armed men have taken over the Idumuje-Ugboko-Onicha-Ugbo axis of the Onitsha-Asaba-Abuja Expressway.

The abductors have kidnapped six people in the last few days.

The victims were believed to have been taken to the kidnappers’ hideouts between Ewohinmi and Ugboko, the boundary towns between Edo and Delta states.

The gunmen, said to be operating in black T-Shirts, that kidnapped five victims some days ago, struck again and abducted a man.

The incident, which occurred about 6:30p.m., on Sunday, had sent panic among motorists, especially luxury bus drivers from the South-East, who ply the route to Abuja on a daily basis.

The hoodlums had taken advantage of the failed portion of road between Ugboko and Ewohimi towns to ambush unsuspecting victims.

The victim of the Sunday abduction was said to be travelling in a Peugeot car with members of his family when the hoodlums intercepted him, forced him out of his car and took him to their hideouts in their waiting vehicle.

The route was listed among the collapsed federal roads, including the Benin-Sapele, Agbor-Warri, Asaba-Illah-Ebu-Uromi-Abuja highways, which the Delta State government complained about late last year.

A witness said his vehicle was coming behind the victim’s car.

He said: “Suddenly, a group of young men with guns stopped the car ahead of us at the bad spot. They immediately forced him out of his car and his wife with kids.

“The woman tried to resist them from abducting the man but they hit the woman with gun butt and zoomed-off. They left the woman and the little children on the highway.”

The witness said that the woman, who later identified herself as the wife of the victim, was bleeding profusely.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Issele-Uku, CSP M. Lawal, said the police were working with their Edo State counterparts.

He said the police had retrieved the victim’s car.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the kidnap.

The PPRO said the Issele-Uku Divisional Police Headquarters had swung into action to rescue the victim and arrest the perpetrators.

Onovwakpoyeya said the bad spot between the two neighbouring towns had become a flashpoint “as kidnappers often terrorise commuters” between 6p.m. and 7p.m.

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