By Chinonso Alozie
HUNDREDS of angry bus drivers last weekend blocked the entrance to Imo State Government House, Owerri, protesting extortion from motorists by the various task forces on motorists.
The bus drivers who earlier assembled at different streets in Owerri, the state capital, moved towards the Government House to register their grievances to Governor Emeka Ihedioha.
They complained of the number of task forces on the road, with each extorting one levy or the other and lamented that they spend over N3, 000 on daily basis to settle them. They also lamented that there are no designated bus stops to pick and drop passengers which members of the task force capitalize on to extort money from them.
Some of them also claimed that they have been assaulted on several occasions by members of these task forces for failing to “settle them”.
“This is very painful in Imo State; we don’t have any place to rest. There is nobody to complain to, the kind of maltreatment that we have suffered in the hands of these task forces”, one of the protesters, Onyeuwa Timo lamented.
“There is no peace for the bus drivers. We have families and we need money to take care of them. Please, I beg the government to please stop these men. They are punishing us in Imo State.
“They force you to pay them and they also go and wait for you on another road and ask you to pay again. This is too much”, another driver complained.