Commuters Stranded as Bus Drivers’ Protest Grounds River Niger Bridge

By Sunny A. Ijomah

Commuters travelling to Onitsha from Asaba had to trek the stretch of River Niger Bridge on Monday to their destinations following a protest by Onitsha/Asaba bus drivers.

The drivers protested against the hike in bus levy by the Anambra State Transport Authorities called “award levy.”

The protest which started around 7am on Monday lasted till 6pm, grounding the economic activities in Onitsha and Asaba metropolis as the drivers vowed not to back down from their demands for the removal of the new levy.

The Chairman, Asaba /Onitsha Bus Unit, Mr. Chukwujindu Okeleke, said the new levies of N1600 and N400 loading fee breached an agreement signed in 2011.

Mr. Okeleke said, “The same issue came up in 2011 but we resolved it amicably with an agreement reached between both sides.

“The protest today is non violent and until the new levies are reversed, buses coming from Asaba will drop off passengers at the Asaba end of the River Niger Bridge.

“Despite several petitions written to the Anambra Ministry of Transport, nothing has been done. We are not only protesting, we have decided that we will not drive into Onitsha because of the exploitative levies.”

He accused a cabal to be responsible for the arbitrary levy which he claimed negated the agreement reached in 2011.

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