On Monday, a good number of commercial drivers who operate between Eleme and Igbo-Etche Road in Rivers State took to the streets to protest against harassment and extortion by the police.
The protesting drivers alleged that there were over 10 police checkpoints from Eleme in Eleme LGA, to Igbo-Etche in Obio/Akpor LGA. The drivers said they were forced to pay at every checkpoint manned by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other policemen.
The protest, which lasted for almost three hours, left many passengers stranded with some forced to trek long distances to get to their destination.
One of the drivers, who identified himself as Ifeanyi, said, “We have three checkpoints and SARS is collecting N100 on each trip for taxis, while they collect N200 from bus drivers.”
Another motorist said, “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, said, “Police don’t care whether you have paper or not. It is either you give them money or you park your vehicle.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said he would get the details of the incident and get back to our correspondent.