The peaceful atmosphere of Okpara community, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State was thrown into palpable tension following dreadful gunmen’s attack on a bus conveying some passengers at the railway on Tuesday.
The bus driver Mr Kenoma Evwienure, sustained serious bullet injuries while the passengers fled into the bushes for safety.
The railway passengers who alighted from the train plying the Itakpe/Warri were being conveyed by the bus to their destinations when they were ambushed by the suspected gunmen.
The suspected kidnappers shot intermittently, and suddenly, the driver, Mr Kenoma Evwienure sustained a serious bullet injury in his left leg.
It was gathered that this attack came barely one month later when some vigilante team members foiled an attack on the rail station close to the Abraka community by suspected herdsmen.
The victim who is currently admitted to the Ughelli Central hospital narrated his ordeal: “On that fateful day, the train came late; normally, it comes between 6.20 pm and 6.50 pm but that day it arrived at about 9 pm. Unknown to us, some gunmen were hiding around the rail station.
“I loaded some passengers that were going to Aghalokpe near Sapele; they were well dressed and it looked like they came for a ceremony. The first Okada took somebody and left. As l was going, a Keke was following me from behind. Suddenly, just about 200 metres from the rail station, some men jumped into the road and were flashing their touch lights.
“As l didn’t reduce my speed, they shot at the vehicle. Everybody was shouting ‘blood of Jesus’ and I didn’t stop. They had barricaded the road but l hit one of the barricades and they shot another bullet and I dodged to the left. Unknown to me, there was another guy by the left lurking in the corner.
“He shot at the door of the vehicle at close range. The bullets pierced through the door and hit my left lap. As l continued escaping, they shot sporadically not knowing that they shot the gearbox. The oil in the gearbox started pouring and the vehicle stopped after we have got to safety.
“That was how the passengers now disembarked and ran away. I came out of the vehicle but I couldn’t walk. I then crawled into the bush and it was an Okada rider that took me to a nearby hospital at Oviorie where I was given first aid treatment.
“I took X-ray which revealed that l have a fracture on my left leg and bullets deep down the bones and now l have been told l need over N400,000 to treat the leg.
“Luckily, the local vigilante and hunters came and chased the hoodlums away, because the people that were still at the rail station, on hearing the gunshots ran into the bush but some of the gunmen went after them as they couldn’t get us.
“My vehicle was destroyed and I am now battling to walk again because I can’t stand up now, but I am very glad that I was able to thwart the kidnapping efforts of the gunmen.”
When contacted, the Delta state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bright Edafe, said: “What happened was when the train dropped some passengers, it continued its journey. Those passengers entered the vehicle taking them to town and the hoodlums attempted to attack them.
“The good thing was that it was not successful because the passengers opened the Siena and ran into the bush. Nobody died except the driver that was hit by a bullet.”