Vehicular movement on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway was noticeably light on Friday and Saturday, a development attributed to the incessant attacks by armed bandits on commuters and motorists on the highway.
Going from Osogbo to Ikire on Friday, Sunday PUNCH observed fewer vehicles on the ever-busy road which connects the South-West region to other parts of the country.
From Gbongan Junction to the boundary of Osun and Oyo states, there were four police checkpoints manned by heavily armed riot police.
Before last Wednesday’s attack, which claimed the life of an employee of the Atakumosa West Local Government Area, Adenipekun Samson, who was shot in the neck by some gunmen suspected to be Fulani bandits, there had been an increase in the cases of kidnapping and armed robbery on the road.
The deceased, who was confirmed dead in a hospital as a result of the gunshot, was said to be travelling in an unregistered Toyota Corolla car driven by one Ismaila Olayiwola, going towards Ibadan, Oyo State, when the incident happened.
Two commercial drivers, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue at Naira and Kobo Junction, Ikire, attributed the light vehicular movement on the road to the frequent robbery attacks.
One of the drivers, identified simply as Adenekan, said the reduction in the volume of traffic was as a result of the increase in the attack on travellers by bandits.
He said, “The number of vehicles coming from Osogbo and Ife towards Ibadan has reduced. The attacks by bandits cause this. We can only hope that the perpetrators will be arrested to restore people’s confidence. Despite today being weekend, people are not travelling through this route. People are afraid to use this road.”
A passenger waiting for vehicle going to Ibadan in the Ogo Oluwa area of Osogbo, Kunle Adeoye, appealed that the bad portions of the road should be immediately repaired to ensure free flow of traffic.
He said some of the bandits could take advantage of the bad portions of the road before Wasinmi town to launch attack on commuters.