The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia State Council, has expressed concern over the inhuman treatment commuters pass through at military checkpoints on major roads in parts of the state.
The NUJ appealed to the Abia State government and military authorities to review the situation.
This is even as the NUJ reported a decline in extortion by policemen on Abia roads, commending the Police authorities and telling them to sustain the development.
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In a 12-point communique released at its monthly Congress held at NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia, the Abia NUJ Council expressed concern over the rate of extortion at military checkpoints on various roads in parts of the state.
The NUJ communique observed that commuters were being forced to alight from vehicles and trek for long distances while crossing military checkpoints.
The communique, which was signed by Comrade Victor Ndukwe (Chairman) and Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe (Secretary), called for the immediate removal of sandbags and other objects at road blocks long abandoned by security agents across the state and within the Ehimiri Housing Estate, Umuahia in particular, which now constitute serious risk to road users.
The Congress which commended the bold steps taken so far by the Abia State Government in sanitizing the regional cattle market at Umuchieze, noted m that insecurity has significantly reduced around the area in recent times, even as it supported the planned fencing and conversion of the market to a non- residential market.
While acknowledging the efforts of the Abia State Government and security agencies in the fight against insecurity, the NUJ expressed concern at the rising cases of robbery and burglary, especially within the Umuahia metropolis, and urged security agencies to rise to the occasion ahead of the Yuletide.
The journalists, who lamented the rising inflation and the attendant high cost of living in the country, urged the Federal Government to quickly arrest the sharp increase in prices of commodities as well as invest the largesse from fuel subsidy removal in critical sectors that could positively affect lives.
The Congress, which commended the Abia State Government for ongoing road expansion and rehabilitation works in parts of the state, also lauded Governor Alex Otti for paying compensation to owners of demolished properties on the Ossah six-lane road, and advised that the projects be delivered in record time to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the state.
On the proliferation of water boreholes in parts of Abia, the NUJ appealed to the State Government to revive the state’s Water Board.
The pen pushers, who cautioned politicians in government and in the opposition against making unguarded statements, advised that any language that may overheat the polity, should not be applied.