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Abuja commercial drivers protest



The angry drivers blocked roads leading to the market, as a result of death of their colleague in the hands of a member of the FCT Joint Taskforce.


One of them, who pleaded for anonymity, said the deceased sat in his vehicle with his wife; he was not loading passengers.

“It happened about 9.30-10 am. The deceased and his wife were in his car; they wanted to take their baby to hospital. The car was not parked on the road.

“Immediately the task force team arrived, one of them opened the car door, entered and arrested him for no offence. They beat him up and the other task force man shot the man.

“When drivers began to gather and block roads, they carried the body into their Hilux van and drove off. That is why we came out to say they will have to kill all of us.”

Another driver, who also pleaded for anonymity, said: “They are molesting us in our country. This morning (yesterday), they killed a driver without provocation, which is why we are now protesting that no more task force.

“They will just run up to you when loading your vehicle, grab your keys and arrest you unlawfully. They will take you to their office and not release you until you beg them with N6,500.”

The deceased’s siblings gave his name as Tony Zugaba. His elder sister, said: “The person they killed is my younger brother, he is our last born. I want to see him to be sure. I don’t know what happened; I only had a call to come. Make una help me oh , I want to see my brother please.

Secretary of Transport Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA) Kayode Opeifa, in a telephone interview, said nobody died, but one of the drivers, who resisted arrest, was injured and has been handed over to the police.

“From information available to me, there was no death recorded,” he said.
The police said none died and none was injured in the protest.

A statement by spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said normalcy has been restored to the area, adding that hoodlums trying to take advantage of the situation have been arrested.

The statement reads: “The police command assures the people that normalcy has been restored at Wuse and its environs, following a misunderstanding between operatives of the Directorate of Road Transport Services (VIO) Task Force and cab operators close to Wuse market.

“The command reiterates its commitment to protect life and property in the FCT, and urges the people to always follow the right channel in expressing their grievances instead of resorting to self-help and causing damage to property.”

“Contrary to speculations, no life was lost and no one was injured in the fracas. The situation has also been brought under control.”

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