Traffic jam as protesting truckers block Onitsha bridge

Protesting truck drivers blocked the Niger River bridgehead in Onitsha, Anambra state on Friday.

The drivers said they were protesting the state government’s imposition of taxes on trailers, trucks, lorries and other vehicles bringing goods to Anambra.

The protest that began in the early hours of Friday led to a complete closure of the bridge, as well as the Enugu-Onitsha highway, Onitsha-Owerri highway and all roads leading to and from Anambra via Onitsha.

The situation stranded travelers and forced some people to get out of their vehicles and start walking.

While explaining the reason for their action, the drivers lamented that the state government had imposed a tax of 30,000 Naira for trailers loading and unloading goods in the state, while other vehicles have their own amount ranging from 20,000 to 25,000 Naira.

A driver, identified as Odion Omoroge, speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members, expressed surprise at the tax, describing the government’s action “as the worst thing the people of the state will see.”

He said: “Violence over the collection of money by government tax collectors is witnessed on a daily basis in Anambra State, particularly Onitsha. The violence is more pronounced now than ever, yet the same government said they don’t want scalpers, but scalpers are having a field day on the roads every day.”

Although police were on the ground preventing a breach of law and order, aggrieved drivers were undaunted even as passengers struggled to get through on the roads.

Anambra Police Command spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga could not be reached as calls and messages to his hotline went unanswered.

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