A raid of motor parks in parts of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) sparked a drivers’ revolt in the town, causing widespread disruption of activities in the affected areas.
The raid, on Thursday, was carried out at the motor park at Olokomeji, Poly Road area and the Tosin Aluko Garage in Ajebandele area, and had angered members of the drivers unions, who disrupted the public peace for hours in the town.
Following the development, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) had disrupted traffic and sundry business activities at Poly Road area up to Erifun as well as at the Ajebandele area of the state capital.
The public disorder had caused the arrest of no fewer than 20 members of the unions and are still detained for possible prosecution.
The drivers had brandished cutlasses and other weapons and chased away motorists and caused confusion, and they had also made bonfires on the Poly Road, which produced thick smoke and disrupted free flow of human and vehicular traffic.
They also threatened to make the state ungovernable, if their members are not released from custody with immediate effect.
Motorists traveling to Akure , Ikare, Ijan and beyond had taken a detour and ran back into town , causing high traffic congestion in Ijigbo and Odo Ado areas of the capital city.
Vehicles coming into Ado Ekiti were also stuck at Erunfun and Ajebamidele, suburbs of the capital city for several hours before police were deployed in the beleaguered sections to restore normalcy.
It was gathered that the NDLEA took the action based on information that some suspected drug abusers were taking refuse in the two locations
When called for confirmation, the NDLEA Commander in Ekiti State, Mr
Suleiman Jadi said he was not in the State and that he has not briefed.
When journalists visited the Command’s headquarters, the NDLEA operatives refused to give the number of those in their custody, neither did they confirm whether their men were responsible for the action.
The State RTEAN Chairman, Barrister Samuel Agbede, who condemned the random arrest , warned that NDLEA was about triggering unrest in the state if it continues with such operation, he described as “embarrassing and debasing.”
He said: “What we heard this morning was that, some NDLEA operatives stormed the two motorparks and started arresting people randomly. They rested drivers, passengers and those selling biscuits in the parks.
“As we speak now, there is now evidence they presented to show that our people were engaging in illicit activities or drug abuse. Even if our people are doing those things, were the passengers and hawkers they arrested also doing same?
“We don’t understand this kind of operation, so we are surprised. We believe that they will be released unconditionally and if they refuse, we know the next line action to take. What the NDLEA was doing is capable of causing confusion in Ekiti and it shouldn’t be tolerated.”