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Transporters refute alleged hijack of luxury buses, kidnap of travellers by bandits

An umbrella body, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), and one of its affiliates, the Association of Luxury Bus Transporters of Nigeria (ALBON), have described the alleged kidnap of Igbo passengers travelling onboard Young Shall Grow Motors, GUO Transport and Ezenwata luxurious buses, as ‘fake news.’

The transporters’ associations said the ‘news’ is a conjecture which is capable of upsetting the peace and tranquillity of the nation, and should, therefore, be disregarded.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of PTONA, Paul Okoghenun, explained that at no time were buses belonging to the said companies hijacked, explaining that no traveller in any of their vehicles has been kidnapped by bandits anywhere in Nigeria.

Okoghenun, who is also the managing director/CEO of Rahony Travels Limited, Lagos, stated, “None of the luxury buses belonging to our members – GUO, Ezenwata and The Young Shall Grow Motors – has been hijacked by bandits, whether at Kogi or anywhere else in Nigeria. Therefore, no traveller has experienced kidnapping in the said buses.

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Also reacting, Nonso Ubajaka, who is a member of the executive committees of both ALBON and PTONA, said the fake news is the handiwork of mischief-makers who do not mean well for road transportation sector and the society at large.

Ubajaka, who is the executive director of Izu Chukwu Transport, said he was in touch with the transport companies mentioned in the story, and was, therefore, in a position to confirm that there was no hijack or kidnap incident involving their vehicles.

PTONA’s statement further stated, “We believe that the social media post concerning the alleged hijack and kidnap emanated from unscrupulous elements who are out to promote a crisis where none exists.

“We, therefore, call on the members of the public to disregard the post and go about their normal businesses. Our customers should be rest assured that we, working with security personnel, are always out to protect their interest.

A social media post has been circulating with the fake news, alleging that some persons from eastern part of Nigeria in particular and southern Nigeria in general who travelled with the said companies had been kidnapped by bandits at Lokoja, Kogi state, on their way from Anambra state to Sokoto.”

The management of all the three companies mentioned in the false report – Young Shall Grow Motors Limited, GUO Transport and God Bless Ezenwata, have also confirmed that their buses were neither hijacked nor involved in any unfortunate incidents lately.

Maduabuchukwu Okeke, managing director of GUO Transport, had in his reaction, recalled that the same ‘news’ circulated in social media many years ago, and wondered why it was being recycled now.

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