Taxi drivers using Warri-Abraka road and other roads such as Warri, Eku, Abraka to Agbor Road respectively in Delta State have embarked on a peaceful protest against the alleged unbearable extortion and dehumanization at their countered by some state government officials and fleet touts.
Protesting taxi drivers took to the streets of Effurun and Eku on Wednesday carrying placards with different inscriptions to voice their grievances over what they described as multiple levies on the tickets they are charged almost daily.
Specifically, they strongly condemned the hijacking of consignment notes, noting that whenever passengers ship goods or other items in the form of consignment notes through them, the touts otherwise known as agberos collect charges and converts them into personal money while ordering drivers to transport the goods for delivery.
They alleged that “the Levy Passenger Welfare Scheme” is being deducted by touts from drivers’ money in the name of the manifesto while questioning the legality of deducting 40% of their allegedly extorted money for the manifest.
Protesting drivers demanded an end to the dehumanizing treatment they would receive from fleet touts while urging the state government to come up with measures to limit their threat to both highways and fleets.
They have vowed to continue their protest at the Delta State Government House in Asaba if the authorities fail to address their grievances.
Spokesman for the protesting drivers, Mr Overcomer Eze, lamented that they are paying a particular Delta State Government ticket daily labeled Updelta ‘multiple times’ from one local government area to another ‘while ‘a state government ticket is supposed to cover within the state for one day’.
The corroborating, another driver, Mr. Odiri Samuel, alleged that Updelta ticket is paid at PTI-Warri while the same ticket is paid at Orerokpe, Oviorie, Eku, Abraka, Obiaroko and Agbor, at the rate of N250 per payment .
He added: “We carriers are not happy; we die in silence. We don’t want blind deductions of money from drivers in the name of the manifesto.
“They gave us sleepless nights. They can confiscate our vehicle and ask us to pay N20,000 or whatever they want. Our grievance is that the state government is intimidating us by using government revenue collectors from agberos and car parks.
“Everything they get from the drivers goes into their pockets. We suffer every day and most of us drive hire-purchase vehicles. With the money they extort, we cannot balance the owners of our vehicles and we risk losing our vehicles. We are not happy.”
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