Youths barricade highway as three killed in Akwa Ibom

Three women lost their lives while a male was injured in an auto crash near Akon community on the Calabar-Itu Road in the Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the accident occurred on Saturday around 7.45pm when a tricycle rider ran into a Mack truck.

All three female occupants aboard the tricycle died on the spot.

Our correspondent learnt that youths in the area, who were irked by frequent accidents on the road, barricaded the Calabar-Itu highway for several hours, causing gridlock that stretched to Odiok, a neighbouring community.

Thousands of passengers were said to have been stranded as a result of the barricade.

PUNCH Metro was told that the group sang solidarity songs and welded machetes and sticks, scaring away officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps who came for a rescue operation.

The Deputy Corps Commander in charge of Operations, FRSC, David Ironuje, described the accident as unfortunate.

He said the command had been preaching to road users to always take necessary precautions while driving on highways to minimise road crashes in the state.

“Our advice is that truck drivers should not think that they are the owners of the road and Keke Napep operators should not be meandering along the road; some of them will see a truck coming and will quickly meander their way. This is wrong; they should keep to their lanes.

“Yesterday (Saturday) the youth did not allow our boys to conduct rescue operation; they barricaded the road, singing war songs. But today, the SA to the governor on projects came and was able to pacify them before allowing our boys; the road is now clear,” Ironuje added.

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