By Boluwaji Obahopo
Lokoja – The Abuja-Lokoja highway was completely on lock down for several hours following the killing of a tanker driver alleged to be done by the officials of the state revenue board.
The revenue officials was said to have flagged down the truck driver which was coming from the North – East and heading to the South West at about 1 O’clock, early Wednesday morning, and impounded his vehicle until he paid N5,000 fees.
The demands was said to have generated a heated argument between the truck driver and the revenue officials which later snowballed to physical brawl.
Sources at the scene said one of the revenue officials, apparently drunk, allegedly hit the tanker driver with an iron object, which led to the death of the driver. A development that infuriated other truck drivers who, in a show of their grievance, parked their vehicles indiscriminately on the highway.
The revenue officials sensing trouble were said to have took to their heel and vanished into the bush.
Hundreds of motorists plying the highway were stranded as movement of vehicles was halted for more than 10 hours.
This also affected newspapers sales in Lokoja, and its environs as newspapers vans coming from Abuja to distribute newspapers to the state or pass through the route were also halted.
Though policemen from the state command were drafted to the scene, but it was an herculean task for them to bring the situation to normalcy.
The state chairman of NURTW, Tanko Ali, who confirmed the death of the truck driver, gave his name as Suleiman Ibrahim from Yobe State, frowned at the collection of revenue from state government officials at odd hours.
The situation however worsen when the Deputy Governor of the State, Elder Simon Achuba who was at the scene around 11 am and trying to pacified the motorists was rebuffed and chased away.
The tanker drivers also demanded to see the Governor personally to come and commiserate with them before they will leave the scene.