Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Bus drivers in Enugu on Wednesday withdrew their services across major routes in the metropolis in protest over alleged incessant exploitation by traffic officials of the state Ministry of Transport known as MOT.
The protest, which was sparked off by an increase in their daily MOT levy from N50 to N100 left, thousands of commuters stranded in various bus stops in Enugu metropolis.
A bus driver, Chukwuma Onoh, who spoke to Daily Sun, said that they have decided to down tools pending when government regulates the activities of the MOT officials who he said were exploiting the drivers.
“These MOT people are the problem we are facing in this town. We are all suffering because of their exploitation. There was a day they clamped my wheels very early in the morning. I was just trying to turn at Liberty roundabout in Abakpa. They demanded that I pay N10,000. I pleaded with N1,500 but they refused.
“That is how we have been suffering in their hands. They are just like hunters waiting for us to be caught at every bust stop. Anywhere you park is an offence to them as they must find something to hang on your neck so that they will take your money”.
Another driver, Emmanuel Njoku, pleaded with the government to call officials of MOT to order. He said, “We give back everything we make in a day to MOT. We can’t continue like this”.
Commuters who spoke to our reporter decried a sudden increase in fares by Keke riders. According to them, destinations which normally cost between N50 to N70 was suddenly jerked up to between N300 to N400 by the riders.
Angry bus drivers were seen deflating tires of their colleagues who shunned the protest.