Drivers in Anambra State under the aegis of Drivers Welfare Association, while commending the governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo for the sacking of illegal revenue agents and touts in all roads, parks, markets, among other flashpoints in the state, urged him to go beyond pronouncement and implement the ban on the illegal revenue collectors.
Addressing journalists in Onitsha, on Wednesday, the Chairman of the group, Mr Adindu Opara, said the governor should empower critical agencies to implement the order.
Opara lamented that touts had continued to defy the order by collecting money from motorists, on a daily basis, not minding if the governor made any pronouncement or not.
He said, “Only God knows what we normally go through in the hands of these touts and illegal revenue agents who claimed to be collecting revenue for the state government.
“I had said during my campaign that I was going to fight them and it was in the process that I was beaten to a coma with some of my executive members and our clothes torn into pieces by the touts.
“The governor should ensure that the order he issued that they be sacked is implemented to the letter without minding whose ox is gored.
“Drivers Welfare Association should be handling the collection of transport revenue for the state government to help curtail embezzlement of government revenue by the touts who claim to have authority from government to extort, beat up, molest, steal, assault, maim and harass both drivers and passengers.
“We ply Onitsha-Owerri-Mgbidi-Awo highway, but it is only at the notorious Upper Iweka area that the illegal activities of the touts are worst. They collect all the money we make there.
“Touting, as Soludo said, is not work. They should go and look for what they will do. We are professional drivers. These touts have bastardised the transport system as they do all manners of criminality.
“These people also snatch handsets; they commit extortion, thuggery, robbery, among others. That is why I will commend the Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. John Obuagbaka, for sacking armed robbers at Upper Iweka. Without him, armed robbers and touts would have taken over Onitsha, because that place is their den. He personally leads his men and you will hardly know he is the Area Commander until he starts giving orders.
“He is a gentleman and a listening type but a no-nonsense man that is interested in ensuring a crime-free society.”
Opara, however, lamented the illegal activities of some policemen in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area, saying, “They cause the traffic grid-lock experienced on a daily basis as they only collect money from drivers and sometimes passengers that they intimidate.
“Just on Wednesday, I spent three to four hours at Oba because of grid-lock caused by the police. How I wish the Onitsha Police Area Commander extends his services to Oba,” he added.
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