Extortion: Tipper Drivers Block Onitsha Bridgehead

Extortion: Tipper Drivers Block Onitsha Bridgehead
…Appeals on Obiano To Intervene
By Alphonsus Nweze
For several hours on Tuesday commutters and motorists plying the Onitsha Bridge were stranded following the blocking of the bridge by tipper onwers and drivers in Anambra State.
The protesting drivers complained the astronomical increase in the amount they paid for every trip of sand from N200 per a day to N2000 per a trip.
They also alleged that they don’t want a middle man to collect the money from them for Government, rather they insisted that their leadership should collect the money as being done by tricycle operators in the State.
The President of All Tippers Owners and Drivers Association of Anambra State, Mr. Ebuka Davidson Unakwe, said the protest had become necessary following the double standard adopted by some key Government officials in negotiating with them.
He said they had protested at Government House Awka, where the Secretary to the Government,Prof. Solo Chukwudebelu, Chief of Staff,and one Prof. Theresa who is in charge of State Revenue had a meeting with them and promised to address their demands.
He said they however, reneged and turned around to threaten them, alleging that Prof. Theresa boasted to wipe them out
And true to that threat, said Ebuka, his people came to carry out their normal duty Tuesday , thugs and miscreants, he alleged were working for one Okigbo, who is a contractor in collecting tipper levies started attacking them with dangerous weapons.
Pledging the loyalty of tipper owners and drivers in the State to Governor Willie Obiano, Ebuka called on him to prevail on his aides to meet with their demands.
The Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Christian Madubuko, who came to the scene appealed to the drivers to clear the road and meet with him in Awka Wednesday by 12 noon for them to resolve the matter.
The Onitsha Police Area Commander, Christian Obuagbaka, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) , who earlier was at the scene had equally appealed to the drivers to remove their lorries from the Expressway, which they agreed.

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