Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A truck laden with cows on Friday blocked the ever busy Benin-Asaba-Onitsha dual carriage highway, causing traffic gridlock on both lanes of the express for several hours.
This was as a result of a protest by Hausa/Fulani cattle herders over alleged killing of one of the drivers of the trucks at Issele-Azagba junction, near Asaba, Delta State capital.
The deceased who was identified simply as Adamu Adamu, was allegedly killed by revenue collectors on Thursday night.
As a result of the blockade, travellers to and from the eastern part of the country were stranded for several hours, as the herders insisted on paying the said revenue collectors in their own coin.
Entreaties by drivers of commercial vehicles to the aggrieved herders were ignored as a line of vehicles, on both lanes of the dual carriage way, formed in the ensuing traffic stretched several kilometres.
One of the leaders of the Hausa/Fulani community, Musa Jeje, said they had previously protested to the authorities about the extortion on the road and at that spot in particular.
He lamented that the alleged murderers escaped after committing the havoc, even as he stated that he was yet to be properly briefed on what led to the killing, in the first instance.
But for the swift intervention of the police, the tension that was building up could have snowballed into full scale violence as some community youths and commuters began to expressed displeasure over the closure of the all important routes by the herders.
Two senior officers from the Delta State Police Command including ACP A. U. Chuso and CSP Gbenga Ojo, led other members of the police team to open the road and free the vehicular traffic hold-up.
Their intervention restored calm and normalcy to the area as trapped vehicles slowly continued their journeys to their respective destinations.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke, later came to the scene before the corpse of the deceased truck driver was evacuated in a Toyota Siena police vehicle.