Drivers protest extortion in Anambra, block Niger Bridge


CITIZENS COMPASS —Tipper drivers in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Tuesday, blocked the expressway to the Niger Bridge over extortion of their members. 

They expressed frustration over government extortion and poor road conditions, demanding a clear and consistent fee structure.

The expressway serves as a critical link to the Niger Bridge, a vital conduit between Anambra and neighboring Delta State.  

Despite valiant attempts by military personnel to clear the blockade, their efforts amounted to naught. 

The drivers remained unmoved, quite literally, as they held their ground, steadfast in their resolve against what they perceived as an unjust imposition. The resulting traffic disruption was a potent symbol of their plight, a physical manifestation of the paralysis they felt in the face of relentless demands for more money.

Mr. Onodugo Onochie, a representative of the Tipper Drivers Association, gave voice to their collective grievances. He spoke openly about the harsh realities they face every day – the deplorable state of roads they traverse and the exorbitant costs foisted upon them. The drivers had begun sourcing sand from Asaba in Delta State, a decision forced upon them by the unmanageable road conditions in Onitsha.

The tipping point, so to speak, came when local agents, upon their arrival at the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge, demanded additional fees. The disagreement over the amount proved insurmountable. Agents insisted on N3,000, while the drivers were willing to part with only N1,000. Pushed to their limits, the drivers decided to block the road in protest, demanding a clear and consistent fee structure rather than seemingly arbitrary charges.

In conclusion, the tipper drivers’ demonstration in Onitsha is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by working-class people across Nigeria. Their demand for fairness and transparency resonates with many, as they navigate the complexities of a system often stacked against them. The drivers are calling for understanding and respect for their livelihood, a plea that deserves the attention of the Anambra State government and the wider Nigerian public. 






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