Tipper drivers in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra state, staged a protest on Tuesday and blocked the road leading to and from the Niger Bridge, claiming they were the victims of extortion by state government officials.
Military officers at the location pleaded for the barricade to be removed, but their demands were ignored.
Onodugo Onochie, a representative of the Leading Tipper Drivers Association, expressed dismay at being blackmailed in Anambra given the state of the roads where their sand is transported.
In his words;
“Because of the bad roads in Onitsha that damaged our vehicles, we resolved to now load sand at Asaba, Delta State.”
“So this morning, some of us who loaded at Asaba paid the N2,700 they demanded from each tipper in a day and on getting to the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge, precisely at Uga Junction, adjacent to the military checkpoint, they also demanded that we pay again.”
“Some boys stopped us and demanded that we pay before we leave. They said that they distributed the documented information last year in December and January, and I told them that we were not aware of that.”