Truck drivers at the nation’s seaports have threatened to shut down the Lagos State Port-Apapa and Tin-Can Island over the death of an assistant truck driver that was killed in the early hours of Wednesday.
The incident reportedly happened at Total bridge inward Apapa when officers of the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), stopped the truck driver and assistant on the bridge and allegedly demanded N500 from the driver who refused.
A driver, at the scene of the incident, Kolade Owoeye, speaking to Leadership said the refusal of the driver to part with the N500 from the Police and LASTMA officials resulted to serious altercation and led to the beating of the assistant until he fell from the articulated vehicle and was crushed to death by his truck.
Owoeye, furthered that truck drivers have concluded plans to shut down all access points to ports and paralyse port operations until government removes all the extortion points along the port corridors.
The administrative secretary, Association of Maritime Truck Owners of Nigeria (AMATO), Mohammed Sani, who confirmed the development, also said the traffic officers asked the truck drivers for money which they refused.
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Sani corroborated saying, “Right now, the truck drivers and others are on top of the bridge, they blocked all access points to Apapa port and they said until they release the driver of the truck because Police have already detained the driver and other drivers are demanding for his release. Right now, the soldiers are on top of the bridge to free the road.”
“We don’t have security and traffic control men along the ports corridors. What we have are just bunch of extortion bandits hiding under the guise of providing security and traffic control,” he said.
Isiaq Rafiuayub, a truck driver who called for an end to brutality urged the federal government to remove extortion points from the port access road.
“We learnt that this morning Police and LASTMA who are to monitor traffic on Total bridge asked a truck driver for money and he refused to give them, they drag down his motor-boy and pushed him under the truck until the truck crushed the motor boy to death,” he said.
“Every trucker must come out for protest, shut down the whole access roads leading into ports for one week until government remove all the extortion points from Alaka to Iganmu under-bridge.
“Also, from total bridge inward the port, we don’t need extortion points there anymore. We need LASTMA to control the traffic situation. We need to shut down Coconut to Tin Can port until further notice. We want government to stop illegal extortion by Police and area-boys immediately,” Rafiuayub lamented.