Gridlock as protesting truck drivers block Onitsha bridge.
In Onitsha, Anambra State, protesting truck drivers on Friday stopped the River Niger Bridgehead.
The truckers claimed that they were in opposition to the state government’s imposition of taxes on trailers, lorries, trucks, and other vehicles delivering products into Anambra.
The demonstration, which began early on Friday, resulted in a complete shutdown of the bridge, the Enugu-Onitsha and Onitsha-Owerri expressways, as well as all other highways that enter and leave Anambra via Onitsha.
Commuters were left trapped by the circumstance, and others were compelled to disembark from their cars and begin walking.
The drivers complained that other trucks must pay their own fee ranging from N20,000 to N25,000, but the state government had levied a levy of N30,000 for trailers loading and unloading products in the state.
Odion Omoroge, a driver who spoke on behalf of the disgruntled individuals, expressed surprise at the levy and called the government’s move “the worst the people of the state will face.”
In Anambra State, especially in Onitsha, violence related to the collection of money by government tax collectors is regularly observed, he claimed. Even though the government has stated that it does not want touts, they are having a field day on the highways every day even though violence is more prevalent than ever.
Even though there were police on the scene to maintain law and order, the irate drivers persisted even as commuters struggled to pass through the highways.
Tochukwu Ikenga, the spokesman for the Anambra Police Command, could not be reached since calls and messages left on his phone line went unanswered.