Several commercial and private vehicles leaving Cross River State for Akwa Ibom State from the Itu Bridge were on Thursday subjected to scrutiny ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The same situation was observed at the Cross River end of the bridge.
The stern-looking military officials and mobile policemen were not moved by the long queues of vehicles as a result of the screening.
Ostensibly watching out for implicating electoral materials, the security team ensured that all bags belonging to passengers and compartments in the vehicles were searched.
One of the security men had after conducting the search on a commercial vehicle said, “You can go, no implicating materials. We are working on intelligence report.”
It was learnt that the same search was carried out simultaneously at the Abia and Rivers states’ boundaries with Akwa Ibom.
Passengers said the process was time-wasting as it took at least 40 minutes to navigate through the checkpoint.
A passenger in one of the commercial buses, who identified herself as Esther, said the process was tedious for passengers.
“This process is too tedious for passengers who may need to pass through this route twice in a day,” she said.
Another passenger, Michael Archibong, decried the delay commuters were subjected to.
“How long can we continue to go through this during elections? It is not the first time this is happening in Akwa Ibom. The situation is always critical here, but it is not as serious in other states,” he said.
A commercial bus driver, Eno Akpan, said the screening started on Thursday morning.
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