The GUO Transport Company has confirmed the attack and killing of one of the drivers of its bus taking passengers from Lagos to Abuja on Friday by gunmen.
The incident occurred along the Ikare-Akoko Road in Ondo State.
It was reported on Saturday that gunmen suspected to be kidnappers had reportedly hijacked a bus belonging to GUO Motors going to the South-East from Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria and abducted all passengers.
Although, SaharaReporters could not ascertain the exact location of the incident that was said to have happened on Friday, voices in a video of the incident shared by Senator Ned Nwoko on his X (formerly Twitter) said that the vehicle was coming from Lagos.
In the video seen by SaharaReporters on Saturday, a voice said, “This bus is coming from Lagos. We stopped together at Akure and ate.”
Meanwhile, the Senator has decried the attack, noting that this was one of the reasons for the law on self-defence which he has been pushing for in the National Assembly.
Nwoko, who expressed dismay over the menace of kidnapping in the country, said that perhaps if the driver had a gun or any of the passengers, the kidnappers wouldn’t certainly have had their way.
However, the transport firm in a statement on Sunday gave details of the unfortunate incident, saying the vehicle was heading to Abuja from Lagos and not the South-East as earlier reported.
However, in the statement posted on its official Facebook page on Sunday, the management of the transport firm, also confirmed that all the passengers, except a three-year-old child, were taken hostage.
“GUO Transport Co. wishes to use this medium to confirm that there was a bandit attack on one of our buses en route to Abuja from Lagos,” the firm said.
Giving the details, the transport firm stated, “The unfortunate incident occurred at about 3:15 pm on Friday, February 9, 2024. Along the Ikare-Akoko area of the Akure Expressway, the kidnappers ambushed and attacked oncoming vehicles, among which was one of the Hiace buses from Lagos with passengers onboard.
“This unfortunate event led to the death of our driver at the crime scene, while our passengers are believed to have been held hostage and led into the bush. A child of about three years old was rescued from the scene and handed over to the military personnel on the ground while the family has been contacted.”
It regretted the unfortunate incident, saying, “Our prayers are with those directly or indirectly affected by this unfortunate incident.”
The firm called on the government to do something urgent to make the roads safe for Nigerians to travel.
“While we empathise with the families of our slain driver and the families of our kidnapped passengers, we are cooperating with security agencies to ensure a quick and sore release or rescue of our passengers.
“We appreciate the prayers, advice, understanding, and support of the security agencies, our staff, our passengers, and the public at this critical moment.
“We also appeal to the government and security agencies to intensify efforts to make our highways safe again,” it said.
While the security agencies, especially the police have remained silent over the recent attack, media reports that the attack was the second on a commercial transport company bus within a few days.
Media reported on January 5, 2024, that some gunmen on Saturday hijacked God Is Good Motors and ABC transport buses heading to Abuja from Kogi State, and kidnapped the passengers.
Media could not ascertain the number of passengers kidnapped.
The Kogi State Police Command through its spokesperson, SP William Ovye, confirmed the incident and later said the affected passengers had been released.
He said, “I have just been informed by the DPO that all the kidnapped victims of God Is Good Motors, and ABC have regained their freedom.”