|Owerri city centre during Clean and Green era|
Armed robbers and petty thieves are having a field day in Owerri metropolis, with tales of attacks at some flashpoints in the capital city as Christmas approaches.
Christian Voice investigation revealed that the hoodlums operate smoothly at points such as Douglas Road, Chikwere street leading to the Eke Ukwu market, Maris Supermarket vicinity, Mbaise Road by Amaram street stretching to fire service, the Orji –Chukwuma Nwoha Road link
Narrating his ordeal in their hands, an Owrri resident who was on his way to a church programme at about 7pm said that he ran into them but challenged the hoodlums to a fight when they tried to dispossess him of his phone.
According to him, he reached for one of them and flung him into a nearby gutter and picked up a piece of wood around to hit the other when two of them fled.
Another, a woman of Owerri descent told of how they accosted her on her way to the market and tried to take away her money and attempted to rape her.
Her savior, according to her, was that she spoke the Owerri dialect which made one of them exclaim, “she is my sister” and advised his colleagues to let her go.
Yet, an eye-witness told Christian Voice what he had observed on Douglas Road one evening, when three young men confronted man, accusing him of having killed their brother.
They descended on him before their victim could open his mouth to defend himself and in the melee, dispossessed him of his belongings.
Also along Douglas Road, one evening, a tricycle operator (keke rider) was accosted along with other vehicles at the school road junction by hoodlums who posed as security men, robbing them in series.
According to the Keke rider, he had passengers and one of them had so much cash and an expensive phone in the possession that day.
When it was his turn, he kicked his vehicle and drove away fast, brushing the hoodlums aside in the process.
“I was confident that my keke would beat them because it was in good condition.
Besides, I did not want to be accused of being part of the gang as one of the passengers had earlier asked him to take another route. That was how I escaped”, he told Christian Voice.
He called on the police to help check the menace which is on the rise with the approach of the Christian season.