By Nwafor Okafor
Travellers and residents of in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State have expressed frustration over the pains they go through at the police checkpoint on the Onitsha-Owerri road on a daily basis.
When our correspondent visited the area , he observed that as soon as a vehicle moves closer to the checkpoint, all the passengers, except the driver, were asked to alight and wait after the checkpoint.
The passengers were made to raise their hands above their heads while crossing the checkpoint, resulting in a long queue at the scene.
These activities of the security officers caused a heavy gridlock on the Onitsha-Owerri road from the Idemili end, which is a boundary between Anambra and Imo states.
About 10 police officers were on the ground on both lanes of the road with their patrol vehicle parked at a corner.
One of the passengers, Mrs Ruth Dibia, lamented that their vehicle had been on the same spot for over two hours to cross the checkpoint that is supposed be done under five minutes.
Dibia said, “I am travelling to Owerri and for over two hours, our vehicle had been on the same spot. But on getting closer to the checking point at about 50 metres, the driver instructed everybody to alight and go and wait for the vehicle after we have crossed the checkpoint.
“When we came down, I saw people raising their hands while crossing the checkpoint, I joined them in doing so as they said failure to comply would mean incurring the wrath of the soldiers. This is by every means, barbaric and uncalled for, are we in a war zone?”
The police spokesman, Mr Ikenga Tochukwu, could not be reached for a reaction and a message sent to his phone by a journalist in the state was not replied to.