From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Luxury bus owners and drivers under the auspices of Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) have threatened to use their buses to block the highways in protest against extortion by suspected produce toll collectors along Benue and Ebonyi states roads.
The group gave the federal and state governments 14 days ultimatum to dismantle all road blocks mounted by produce toll collectors on the roads, accusing them of forcefully collecting money from them and beating them on the highways.
The Anambra State chairman of ALBON taskforce, Mr. Uchenna Maduakor while briefing newsmen in Onitsha flanked by some luxury bus divers: Chukwuma Nwolisa of Osinachi Motors and Afamefuna Aboaja of Ifeanyoluchukwu Motors, lamented that those boys always wielded weapons to attack drivers and passengers.
Maduakor said that last year alone, the suspected produce toll collectors attacked some drivers, injuring them, smashing bus mirrors and glasses, adding that sometimes they beat the drivers and allegedly rob their vehicles in isolated areas.
While narrating their experiences on the roads they said: “The army, police and produce toll collectors disturb us a lot causing gridlock on the highways. For instance a journey of four hours will take us up to eight hours. The problem is not even the money they collect from us but the delay they cause. At times they l draw drivers down and beat them for no just cause.