Drivers Lament Army Extortion On South-East Roads

file:army checkpoint

file:army checkpoint

The increasing spate of extortion and harassment in the hands of soldiers operating along Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway, commercial drivers have said had started taking its toll on their business.

The drivers have therefore urged the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, to save them from the situation before it degenerates to a more dangerous dimension, threatening showdown with the soldiers if nothing was done immediately.

The aggrieved drivers told journalists that the soldiers had turned virtually all their check points along the highway into compulsory illegal toll gates, where commercial drivers were forced to pay between N100 and N2,000 depending on the type of vehicle involved.

The drivers who spoke through their spokesman, Anichebe Agbo, expressed worry that the soldiers, had allowed themselves to be corrupted by their police counterparts.

“Those trailers carrying cow from the North to the eastern part of the country are always forced  to pay between N1,000 and N2,000, lorries, N500 and we mini-bus drivers pay N100 to N200, depending on the type of load or passengers you are conveying.

“So, we want Ihejirika and the GOC of 82 Division to know that the men they sent out to Onitsha- Enugu expressway to check crime are now tax collectors, and the most painful aspect of the whole thing is that they harass innocent citizens with their uniform and guns with impunity,” Agbo explained.

The drivers therefore called on the media and Enugu state government to come to their rescue.

“We know that the Chief of Army Staff can help us solve this serious problem by asking the General Officer Commanding (GOC),  82 Division Enugu to immediately investigate this notorious  soldiers, because they are really dragging the image of the Army to the mud,” he said.

The drivers also said the soldiers have a big Ghana-must-go bag in a nearby bush usually manned by the leader of the team, who also directs and supervises the drivers as they drop the money they are billed.

“These soldiers had remained a torn on the flesh of commercial drivers along this road  since they mounted the checkpoints. My broda, let me tell you the truth, this Army guys are becoming a serious problem to we  along this road, because every day a mini bus driver  spends not less than N200 to N300 on them, that is outside the one you will give to police, or they will ask you to park your vehicle  and come down,” one of the drivers, Peter Aneke who said he was a graduate of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu said.

Aneke mentioned specifically Umunba Ndionu check point, Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, as one of the places where the soldiers perpetrate the act daily.

“After coming down, they will ask you to  start jumping like a frog until you bring out the money, sometimes if you insist you don’t have money, they will take you to a nearby bush where they will give you cutlass to start clearing the bush.”


  1. Checkpoint turned into checkmoney. Too bad! COAS, GOC 82 Division, please listen to the cries of your fellow Nigerians most of whom are graduates who took to commercial driving as a means of self-employment or employees.

  2. Pls something should be done imediately bcos is to much coming from onisha to aba with laod u spend like 2500 bcos the have started collecting 200 each check point $ the all mount boys dat collect this money for them government should do something fast fast

  3. govt pls come to the aid of the masses. Even soldiers who are held at high reputation now degraded to tax collectors on our high ways. its a big slap on Nigeria defence sector. pls COAS, and GOC 82 DIV dis boys should not drag ur gud works to the mud. do something immediately

  4. You all datz complainin abt soldier are all idiot, do know the work of police in this nigeria their duty is to maintain law and order but as for soldier they are meant to secure your life and property those that are their to maintain law we civilian give them money, while those that are to secure our lifes and property you are complaining about how much is the money. BLINKING BASTARDS