Commercial activities almost came to halt at Abakpa-Nike, Enugu, Enugu-East Local Government Area of Enugu State yesterday as commercial drivers withdrew their vehicles from the roads in the early hours of the morning in protest for what they called police extortion.
As a result of the protest, commuters had to resort to Keke services even as they groan under high fares charged by operators.
The worst hits were civil servants who had to stand for hours at bus stops to get to work.
In a swift reaction, the Police said there was nothing like extortion by their men instead they were only trying to clear traffic congestion on the roads in the area.
According to the Police image maker, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, “Nobody is extorting money from anybody. The police is only trying to clear traffic congestion on the roads from that axis and the drivers don’t see it as favourable to them.”
However, the situation would have worsened if not for the state government’s transport outfit, known as Coal City Shuttle, CCS.
They sent their buses to help the commuters alleviate their plight .
The irate bus drivers carried placards that depicted that their job was on the line because the police collect money from them from one bus stop to the other.
The commercial drivers equally accused the Enugu East Local government Council of colluding with the police to extort money from them. They specifically called the Council Chairman, Hon. Cornelius Nnaji a Chameleon for not doing anything to alleviate their plight.
Some of the placards read, “Police allow us to work, Cornelius is a Chameleon, etc.”
A commuter narrated his experience to our correspondent and said he had to spend more than three hours before Coal City Bus came and brought him from Abakpa, an Enugu Suburb to Enugu metropolis.
“If not for the Coal City bus that came, I don’t think I would have come to work today,” he avers.
The source actually posited that the police actually extort money from the commercial drivers and have formed the habit of mounting both legal and illegal road blocks with the aim of extorting money from the drivers.
Efforts made to get the mayor of Enugu East as the Council Chairman, Hon. Cornelius is popularly called, proved abortive as he was not picking his calls.