Tanker drivers shut down Yola-Jalingo highway over police brutality
When major Nigerian towns are currently facing fierce protests by youths under the banner of #EndSARS to call for an end to police brutality and bad governance, angry tanker drivers on Sunday, shut down the Yola-Jalingo highway, to protest alleged police brutality against a tanker driver near Mayo Belwa town.
The situation which paralyzed commercial and other activities occurred when police officers from Karewa area command in Yola, Adamawa State, accosted and demanded bribe from a tanker driver who was transferring fuel from his reserve tank to the main tank.
According to an eye witness, “a tanker driver whose fuel got exhausted was trying to transfer fuel to the main tank from his reservoir when some policemen from Karewa area command who are notorious for extorting motorists accosted the tanker driver and demanded bribe from him.
“When he failed to heed to their demand, they descended on him, beat him up and even tore his clothes. The people have to swoop on the policemen, rescue the hapless man and rushed him to hospital.”
Sale Baba, an official of the tanker drivers in Yola, who corroborated the manhandling of one of his colleagues, also said, “we are tired of the atrocities being perpetrated by the police. That is why this time, our members shut down the highway to demand justice for one of them who was brutalized for committing no crime.
“The situation is now causing serious tension as commuters plying the highway have become stranded for hours.
“The authorities should take stiffer action to ensure that such policemen are brought to justice as they constitute a threat to peace and security.”
When contacted, Adamawa State police command PPRO, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, said he was intimated about the development and the commissioner of police had deployed a team to ascertain the situation.
“I heard about the commotion and the commissioner had since deployed a team to investigate.
“We will surely take proper action. If the police are found culpable in this regard, Adamawa police command will not hesitate to mete out appropriate punishment to them,” he said.
It would be recalled that the police command has sometimes this year dismissed one of its men for allegedly killing a motorcycle rider in Maiha local government area of the state.
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The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has convened a meeting with stakeholders and has agreed to meet all demands raised by the #EndSARS protesters, which include halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the state government has earmarked N200million as compensation for families of victims of #EndSars protest.