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Commercial drivers protest alleged harassment

By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—COMMERCIAL vehicle drivers in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday protested the incessant harassment they suffer in the hands of members of the Road Transport Employee Association of Nigeria, RTEAN,  over ticket levies.

The drivers who protested along some major streets and roads in the state capital,  were also at the state House of Assembly, alleging that they now pay as much as N1,000 daily to the Road Transport Employee Union, under the guise of various levies. Vanguard correspondent,  who witnessed the lawlessness exhibited by the RTEAN officials, saw the  union officials, forcefully stopping  taxis and discharging their passengers.

Following the protest,  commuters and school children  were late to work and schools as they could not get vehicles to their destinations.  It will be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole shortly on assumption of office, abolished all forms of collection of illegal taxes and levies in public places.One taxi driver, who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard that he was beaten up by RTEAN officers at Ramat Park,  along Ikpoba-Hill axis of the city, because of his refusal to pay the different levies. including those already abolished by the state government.

The commercial drivers told the lawmakers, that they were being forced to pay multiple taxes  by the different local government areas in the state and pleaded for their intervention.

Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Paul Ohonbamu,  who received the commercial drivers said their request will be looked into.


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