Ben Dunno, Warri
A human rights activist and Vice President of the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) Dr Kehinde Taiga, has deplored the extortion of traders, especially members of the Pigs Traveller Association, by security operatives, mostly policemen and soldiers mounting checkpoints on the highway from northern to southern Nigeria.
Making his grievances known in a petition to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt General Tukur Buratai, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Warri, the activist urged authorities to call their men manning the highway to order.
He noted that the members of the Association were made to pay N2,000 on each truckload conveying their pigs, adding that they usually meet over twenty checkpoints in the North till they get to their destinations in the South.
According to the activist, the past Chairman of Delta state chapter of CDHR, the extortion is becoming a huge burden on the traders who in turn push the extra cost on to consumers, thereby making pork meat very expensive.
‘This lawlessness on the highway from the north to the south by the security operatives who manned these checkpoints must not be allowed to continue as it is making life unbearable to these pig traders who were subjected to extra burden settlements on the highway by security operatives.
‘I am therefore using the medium to call on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.Gen. Buratai and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, to as a matter of urgency call their men in all these checkpoints to order by sending a signal to them to put an end to the extortions.
‘It is only when they desist from extorting the traders who come from southern part of the country to the north to buy pigs sold as pork meats in the other parts of the country that the business would become lucrative for these traders.
“‘This is no time to continue to play lips service to the atrocities caused by the security operatives on the highway against the traders, adding that the hardship inflicted on the traders by the police and soldiers on the highway is becoming unbearable,’ he stated.