Tanker drivers’ protest: Passengers stranded for 14 hours in Kaduna

16 June 2015, Kaduna – Commuters plying the Kaduna-Zaria road which is a gate way to states in the northern part of the country were stranded for over 14 hours following protest by trailer drivers who blocked  both sides of the expressway in protest against alleged shooting of one of their members at a military check point.

tankersThe incident was said to have  occurred on Sunday at about 10p.m. at Marraban-Jos, about eight kilometres from Kaduna metropolis when one of the soldiers manning a checkpoint in the area allegedly shot the trailer driver for not offering him N500 bribe.

Passengers travelling to and from Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Zaria, Zamfara, Kebbi and other towns along that route were subjected to untold hardship as the trailer drivers blocked the road with their vehicles.

It was learnt that the tanker drivers mobilised their members to protest the shooting by blocking the highway with their vehicles for hours, making it difficult for motorists to get their destinations.

The development kept motorists and their passengers for over 14 hours in the traffic gridlock which extended for over four kilometres.
A victim of the incident, Abba Saminu who was shot on the leg, was rushed to St. Gerald’s Catholic Hospital, Kaduna by some good Samaritans.

Narrating his experience on his hospital bed, Saminu said: “We were on our way back to Kaduna with Irish potatoes inside the vehicle when we came across a check point mounted by the soldiers around 10 p.m. on Sunday close to Mararraba Jos.
“They ordered us to park, as I was about parking by the roadside one of the soldiers demanded N500 from me. I told him I can only afford N100. So he shouted at us and ordered us out of the vehicle.

“Immediately we alighted from the vehicle, another soldier slapped me. When I turned to run, I heard a gun shot, so I fell down. They entered their vehicle and zoomed off. It was some people that later came to rush me to the  hospital,” he said.

Abba’s employer, Alhaji Ibrahim, who was at the hospital to see him,  appealed to the military authority and government to bring an end to  the harassment against drivers by soldiers on the highways.

He alleged that drivers were always subjected to all kinds of intimidation and harassment by security agents stationed on the highways for refusing to offer them bribe.

Ibrahim described the soldiers’ attitude towards drivers as illegal, calling on government to put an end to it.
Efforts  to speak with the spokesman of the Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Colonel Yusuf Abdul, was fruitless as he did not answer our telephone calls.

It took the intervention of the Deputy Dovernor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bala Bantex, and the state Commissioner of Police who negotiate a peaceful settlement at about 2p.m. yesterday before the road could be cleared for commuters move.

– This Day

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