Bandits have reportedly killed a graduate of Architecture from the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, Ella Williams, along the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi highway.
Williams was said to be travelling from Benin to Ekpoma to pick up her call up letter, preparatory to joining the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, when the bandits shot the bus in which she was travelling, killing her on the spot, while other passengers were kidnapped.
Announcing Williams’ death on his Facebook wall, Andrew Egbuonu, wrote: “I received the devastating news of the demise of a young lady and a promising future of the Nigerian nation, Ella Williams in the hands of bloodthirsty and heartless herdsmen on the Benin-Ekpoma road in Edo State.
“What a country where human life has no value, especially to these emotion-less invaders!”The Guardian learnt that the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Okene Road has become a den for herdsmen and kidnappers, who shoot at vehicles and kidnap passengers for ransom daily.
Several passengers have been killed, while others have been injured. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kontongs Bello, did not respond to several calls made to his cell phone.
Besides, several commuters were stranded on the Ehor axis of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi highway in Uhunmwonde Council of Edo State, following protests by angry youths over activities of herdsmen who allegedly killed Williams on Monday.
Most of the travellers had to divert to Agbor road in Delta State from Benin City due the blockade. A resident of the village, Francis Okhomina, said five persons were shot in the area by kidnappers and that two of them died, while three of them were injured.
In a related development, the management of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, yesterday, disclosed that it promoted 283 academic and non-academic staff to boost their productivity and efficiency.
Acting Rector of the institution, Mustaphar Zubair, who made this known in Auchi, said 63 academic staff had got approval to proceed for further studies within and outside the country.
He said the welfare of staff members remained a priority with a view to encouraging them to achieve maximum output, adding that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) would sponsor the training under its Academic Training Development Scheme (ATDS).
“Staff welfare has remained one of our priorities by creating comfort for them through the renovation of their buildings, providing water through boreholes in quarters. We have just promoted about 283 staff members,” he said.