Passengers and transporters plying delta roads have described the action of Delta state government over the imposition of N100 extra levy on them as wickedness of the highest.
According to sources, a driver attached to a very popular transport company plying Ughelli/Asaba road was allegedly beaten to stupor by suspected thugs allegedly recruited by the the government even as the passengers of the vehicle were not spared.
The source said, “Hell was yesterday Friday, July 23, let loose when suspected hired touts alleged to have been detailed by the Directorate of Transport, Delta State, came out in their numbers intimidating, harassing and forcefully impounding vehicles belonging to a popular transport company in Delta demanding a sum of One hundred naira per passenger from the drivers.
One of the driver namewithheld who was molested and beaten for not providing the said amount per passenger narrated that; “I was on my way to Ughelli with Seven passengers from the park, but when I got to Immigration junction, I saw a crowed on youths with sticks and clubs, flagging me down. I have to stop.
They requested for my manifest which I gave to them, but they said the company manifest is useless that it must be the state government manifest, then I told them that I won’t be the one to come to your office to collect manifest and there should be anything of such, it must be your officials that will serve it to my company, but not me.
Angered with my reply, they started dragging my passengers down, and gave me a number of random slap before forcefully taking my vehicle away to the Oshimili South LGA Secretariat”.
A passenger who also narrated her ordeal questioned why she should pay an extra fare to the government.
The female passenger said; “The way and manners they stopped the vehicle is even enough to call them thieves, but alleged that they were doing this with the backing of some policemen who came with them.
Another commercial driver whose vehicle was also impounded, told this reporter that it is not the duty of the driver to task their passengers, adding that if the state government want to be collecting N100 from each passenger, it should come from them and not from the drivers or the motor parks.
When our reporter visited one of the parks in Asaba, the manager who does not want his name in print, showed a flyer alleged to have been sent from the Directorate of Transport and it reads;
“Delta State Government, Passenger Welfare Scheme. All motor park operators in the state must ensure that all passengers traveling with their vehicles are insured on their trips. Failure to comply will attract fines for both passengers and park owners. In case of accident, the inured or dead passengers would be compensated by the scheme accordingly”.
The manager noted that implementation of such demands will be difficult for them as park owners, on the ground that they cannot convinced passengers to pay extra one hundred naira when traveling after their normal fare.
In his words, “Those proposing such laws or making such demands should come to the park, talk to the passengers themselves and possibly live their officials on ground for such collection, he suggested. Again he said, the state government ought to have also create much awareness and sensitization before coming out to enforce the law.
Some passengers who spoke with this reporters lamented such imposition, noting that the state government cannot force such obnoxious and exploitative law on them.
A lawyer who was on transit via the harassed vehicle, upheld that on no account should the state governor approve such a thing considering the harsh economy faced by citizens. He question the honesty and proper management of such scheme, and stated that it is dead on arrival as Deltans will definitely revolt against it.
All efforts made to speak with one of the taskforce proved abortive as he threatened give this reporter a mob attack.
Meanwhile, the impounded vehicle and passengers was said to have paid the sum of Twenty Thousand Naira before allowing the vehicle.
As at the time of filing this report, efforts to reach the director ministry of transport has proved abortive as his phone numbers were switched off, but from what is stated in the flyer, it is the motive of whoever that is creating this to insure the lives of passengers, but the question remains why now and how sincere will the scheme run.