By Frank Ulom
A Bolt driver identified as Mr Kingsley Okon has escaped abduction from unidentified gunmen in Calabar, Cross River State.
CONVERSEER learned that the mobility and ride-hailing driver was attacked on Wednesday night at Goldie Street, Calabar South Local Government Area.
Engr. Micheal Neji, Treasurer of the Amalgamated Union of App Based Transporter of Nigeria, AUATON in the state, while confirming the incident said that the victim was about to enter his house, at a Close, off Goldie Street at about 8pm when his assailants attacked him.
Neji while narrating the incident said, “He was making a call inside his car when his assailants numbering three arrived in a mini-bus at his location and ordered him to alight from his vehicle and move into their mini-bus at gunpoint but Kingsley refused and started struggling with them.
“They pounced on him, beating him up thoroughly with their gun and shot at him but he was lucky as he only sustained scratches from the pellet shot from their locally made pistol.
“He was rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, by good Samaritans, where he was stabilised and is currently being treated but his valuables including his phones and a bag containing his car key were dispossessed.
“We also learned that the hoodlums came back to carry his car but were resisted by vigilantes in the area who later deflated the four tyres to ensure the car was safe,” he said.
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The AUATON Treasurer said Bolt drivers have become a target for kidnappers.
“We have become a target for kidnappers but what they don’t understand is that most of the cars they see us drive belong to people. 85 per cent of Bolt drivers in Calabar drive on a remittance contract basis and don’t own those cars.
“I was attacked three weeks ago myself while returning to Calabar from Akpabuyo where I went to drop a client at a private school.
“The kidnappers gave me a hot chase until I rammed my car inside a bush near the Navy Checkpoint around Atimbo. I left the car and ran away – I saw them in a Mercedes Benz.
“We are appealing to security agencies and the government of Cross River State to do more, especially during this period – many of us have already fallen prey,” Neji cried out.
SP Irene Ugbo, the Police spokesperson in the state, when contacted told Vanguard that she was not aware of the incident.
CONVERSEER reports that a Bolt driver was kidnapped alongside his female passenger inside the University of Calabar, UNICAL a few weeks ago while one escaped death by unknown gunmen at Mary Slessor Avenue a few months ago.