New Telegraph

Heavy Traffic In Niger As Tippers Association Protest Extortion

There was a heavy gridlock on Tuesday in the Niger State bridge as members of the Tipper Drivers Association blocked the Uga-Onitsha-Asaba Expressway leading to the River Niger Bridge in protest of extortion by agents from both the Anambra and Delta state governments.

The demonstrators alleged that they were always charged N2,700 after loading sand into their tippers in Asaba, Delta State’s capital, and then asked to pay N3,000 when they arrived in Anambra State.

The situation generated chaos on the highway, with commuters stranded for several hours in the same area due to no movement in both lanes of the ever-busy expressway.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, an executive of the group named Onodugo Onochie alleged they were being extorted in Anambra State despite the fact that the roads were in disrepair.

Onochie said, “The revenue agents always insisted on the payment of N3,000. This is extortion which must not continue anymore. This prompted the tipper drivers to use their vehicles to block the expressway.

“Because of the bad roads in Onitsha that damaged our vehicles, we resolved to now load sand at Asaba, Delta State to save us from the damage to our vehicles.

READ ALSO:

“So, this morning, some of us who loaded at Asaba paid N2,700 they demanded from each tipper in a day and on getting to Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge, precisely at Uga Junction, adjacent the military checkpoint, some boys stopped us and demanded that we should pay N3,000 before we could move.

“They claimed that they were agents of the state government and the information for them to be collecting the levies had been passed since last December and we told them that we were not aware of that.

“They then said we should pay N3,000 and I told them that personally that what I had was N1,000 and they said no and we had no other option than to block the road to end the saga once and for all.

“It is not that we don’t want to pay but we want to know how much to pay daily or weekly as the case may be and not each time a tipper passes, they collect N3000 from the driver. It is a pain on us.”

All efforts by security forces who arrived on the scene of the protest to demolish the demonstrators’ blockade were met with resistance.

Read Previous

Zamfara Gov Sets Up Security Trust Fund To End Banditry

Read Next

Kalu Seeks Support For S’East Devt Commission