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Gridlock in Onitsha as tipper drivers block River Niger bridge to protest against ‘extortion’

Gridlock in Onitsha as tipper drivers block River Niger bridge to protest against ‘extortion’
June 18
15:39 2022

Members of the tipper drivers’ association have blocked the River Niger bridge over alleged extortion by naval officers stationed at the bridge in Onitsha, Anambra state.

The protest was said to have started at about 3am on Saturday over the alleged refusal of a tipper driver to give a naval officer N1,000.

The naval officer allegedly shot at the tyres of the tipper over  the incident.

Following the development, tippers have obstructed the motorway, preventing the bridge from being used and causing serious gridlock.

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Commuters are stranded, while there is limited vehicular movement to and from the area.

Ebuka Unekwe, president-general of the association, said they are protesting the “incessant molestations and dehumanising treatment” meted out on them by naval officers in the area.

Unekwe also said the extortion of N1,000 from the tipper drivers by the Navy began in March.

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He said the drivers will not clear the road until the government intervenes, replaces the damaged tyres and caution security agents against collecting “illegal fees” from them.

Adeoye Irelewuyi, the state sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the unit commander in Onitsha is already in talks with the tipper drivers to resolve the situation.

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