* ‘Protest over before they arrested us’
By Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI—EIGHT commercial motorcycle operators, Okada riders, where arrested yesterday in Ughelli while several motorcycles where impounded by policemen attached to the Ughelli Area command following protest over the increase of local government’s daily tickets price to N150.
The protest, which began on Monday, took a dramatic twist yesterday when protesters clashed with members of the task force in charge of ticket sales in the area.
Commuters within the town resorted to trekking several kilometres to their destination as the Okada riders refused to convey passengers in solidarity with their colleagues, who barricaded major junctions in the town.
A senior police officer told Vanguard that they defied the protest ban imposed in the state by the Commissioner of Police, hence the arrest.
However, one of the protesters, Samson Diabala, told Vanguard that they had long stopped protesting and were being harassed by the task force at the Post Office Roundabout when the police, in company of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, attacked them and arrested several of their colleagues after impounding their motorcycles.