Commercial drivers protest police extortion in Rivers

Commercial drivers protest police extortion in Rivers

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A cross-section of commercial drivers who ply through Eleme and Igbo-Etche Road in Rivers State staged a rally on Monday to protest against harassment and extortion by the police.

The drivers alleged that there were over 10 police checkpoints from Eleme in Eleme LGA, to Igbo-Etche in Obio/Akpor LGA manned by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other policemen (SARS), all of which take their turns to extort the drivers each and every single time they ply through the route.

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The drivers lamented that their plight was being exacerbated by the fact that they are being fleeced of their hard-earned money for every trip, and not necessarily a one-off payment.

According to one of the motorists, “If you tell them you have paid before they will beat you up and detain you.”

The Chairman of the drivers’ association in Igbo-Etche, Chinyere Ude, lent his voice to the plight of the drivers. He said: “Police don’t care whether you have paper or not. It is either you give them money or you park your vehicle.”

The protest lasted for over three hours, turning passengers to pedestrians who were forced to trek their way to their various destinations.

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Edidiong-Ronny Ikpoto

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