Lorry Drivers Block Onitsha\Head Bridge in Protest over Alleged Shooting of Tanker Tyre by Navy

By Ikeugonna Eleke

Drivers of various articulated vehicles, including lorries, tankers and tippers, last week Saturday blocked the Niger Bridgehead in Onitsha in protest.

Fides learnt the protest was triggered by extortion by naval officers operating on the bridge who insisted on collecting N1,000 from them as gratification.

The drivers however decided to block the road on Saturday morning, after a naval officer shot and punctured the tyres of a lorry because its driver refused to pay the N1,000 gratification.

As at 10am of the said day, it was learnt that the entire stretch of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway was blocked for hours by lorries, whose drivers protested the treatment on their colleagues.

According to some members of the union who spoke anonymously, ‘Men of the Nigerian Navy at the Uga Junction, Onitsha, have an issue with our driver, which, they claimed, led to the shooting of his vehicle’s tyre.

‘Our fellow drivers on seeing the development parked their vehicles and requested that the punctured tyre must be replaced, that is why there is protest here.’