FROM: EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja
All is currently not well in Kogi State as the Abuja-Lokoja highway is completely on lock down following the killing of a tanker driver allegedly by the officials of the state revenue board.
According to an eyewitness account, the revenue officials were said to have flagged down the truck driver which was coming from Maiduguri and heading to the South West at about 1:00a.m, early Wednesday morning.
His vehicle was said to have been impounded until he paid a revenue fee of N5,000. This was said to have generated a heated argument between the truck driver and the revenue officials which later snowballed to physical brawl.
The account further said one of the revenue officials, who was said to be dead drunk, allegedly hit the tanker driver with an iron object, which led to the death of the driver.
This was said to have infuriated other truck drivers who, in a show of their grievance, parked their vehicles on the highway.
The revenue officials were said to have vanished into the bush.
Hundreds of motorists plying the highway are currently stranded as movement of vehicles had been halted.
This also affected newspapers sales in Lokoja, and its environs as newspapers vans coming from Abuja to distribute newspapers to the state were also halted.
A revenue official, who simply identified himself as Suleiman, said the driver would not have died if he had not dragged the issue with the officials but, however, regretted that it was the devil that was at work.
The state’s police commissioner, Ali Janga, while speaking on telephone with our correspondent, confirmed the incident and said his men had been drafted to the scene
The state chairman of NURTW, Tanko Ali, who also raced to the scene, confirmed the death of the truck driver whose identity was yet to be known as at the time of filing this story.
He, however, frowned at the collection of revenue from state government officials at odd hours.
The truck drivers were said to have chased away the deputy governor of the state who visited the scene at about 10.05 a.m. saying they would only vacate the road when Governor Yahaya Bello personally come to commiserate with them.
Information reaching our correspondent said even police and other security agents were finding it hard to reach the scene as the road has been permanently locked down.