Armed robbers on Monday attacked The Nation driver, Mr. Akinyele Adebayo, at Moro junction, near Ile-Ife in Osun State.
He was attacked around 12pm while returning to Lagos from Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State.
The incident, Adebayo said, occurred a few metres to a military checkpoint.
He wondered why the military personnel, who mounted roadblock nearby, allowed the robbers to operate freely.
“I suspect connivance between the military personnel and the robbers. The place the soldiers mounted a roadblock is not up to two minutes’ drive to where the robbers operated freely,” Adebayo said.
The robbers, he said, used cattle as a decoy to attack drivers.
“There were cattle on the side of the road. I slowed down and on getting towards the place, the three robbers used their motorcycles to block the road. Before I could get to them, they came down and brought out sticks and cutlasses. So I tried to manoeuvre my car so as to go, but before I could, they broke my side mirror, windscreen and damaged the bonnet. I didn’t stop; all I just wanted to do was to escape from them because I know that is where they rob people.
“When I got to the front, I discovered that the road had been blocked with tyres and big sticks and some people were there, but they were not in uniform. They were about five. I looked back and saw the three men coming with their motorcycles. They met me there and ordered me to stop and open the door.
“I just managed to climb the tyres and sticks and drove away. Within the next two minutes, I got to another place where some soldiers mounted a roadblock. They just checked my vehicle and allowed me to go. I didn’t bother to make a report to them because I sensed that they might be working together. Other drivers have been saying they are working together. So if they could pursue me to the first roadblock, I also believe that they can pursue me even to where the soldiers are,” Adebayo said.
He said the experience was his first since driving on that road.
The driver said the robbers spoke English and Yoruba languages.
“I don’t think they are herdsmen or people from the North. They just used the cattle as a decoy. They spoke in English and some also spoke Yoruba fluently,” he said.
He appealed to the government to draft policemen to monitor the road, putting the cost of damage done to his vehicle at N50,000.