From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
There was tension in Onitsha as truck drivers barricaded the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, between River Niger bridge and Upper Iweka, with their trucks as they protested the deaths of a driver and five other people whose deaths were allegedly caused by the transport taskforce at bridgehead.
Truck drivers’ protest caused severe gridlock, stranding motorists for more than eight hours.
There was no vehicular movement in and out of Onitsha as many commuters and motorists were trapped and stranded on the road.
According to reports, a Special Enforcement Team from the Anambra State Ministry of Transport, Traffic Agency, forcibly removed a truck driver from his truck, which was carrying a 20-foot container.
Witnesses said that as the taskforce team was about to drive the vehicle to their office, the vehicle skidded off the road, killing three passersby, the conductor of the vehicle and two of their men.
It was learnt that Anambra State Ministry of Transport, Traffic department said the driver contravened the rules and, forcefully collected his vehicle key and forced him out of the vehicle and attempted to
It was also learnt that officials had a heated argument with the drivers of the vehicle for an undisclosed offence, collected the key from the driver, attempted to drive the vehicle to their office and in the process lost control, killing three passers and two occupants who were himself, his colleague and the conductor of the vehicle.
When sunnewsonline.com visited the scene of the accident, palpable tension pervaded the area as sympathizers expressed their displeasure with the taskforce team’s decision to have an inexperienced enforcement officer struggle the key with the driver and then drive the vehicle, despite knowing he was inexperienced at driving.
As at the time of filing this report, all roads in and out of Onitsha were blocked with long trucks fully loaded with goods and the drivers were seen sleeping and relaxing in their vehicles.