Hundreds of shuttle bus drivers plying Nnewi-Onitsha road in Anambra State on Tuesday protested death of their member, Mr Vincent Chukwujekwu following alleged attack by touts in Onitsha over refusal to pay them N800.
The protesters caused traffic gridlock as they brought the deceased corpse to Akwudo mortuary, Nnewi, shouting “no more agboros (touts) in Onitsha and Nnewi”.
They insisted Governor Chukwuma Soludo must sack the touts from revenue collection or work in synergy with them.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr Justin Anyadike, Managing Director, Oha-na-eze Mass Transit Limited, under whose platform the deceased shuttle bus, Awk 78 ZQ, was registered said the attackers never listened to the deceased plea that he had no money.
He expressed surprise that the touts were still troubling his colleagues despite government ban on revenue collection.
He regretted that the deceased, from Utuh in Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state was a father of six, who were still in their tender ages.
He said, “Late Mr Chukwujekwu’s bus had engine problem and he had to sell a portion of his land to raise money to buy a new engine.
“He replaced the engine on Saturday and decided to test-run the vehicle on Sunday to make little money having spent heavily to fix the engine.
“The agboros on Onitsha-Owerri road stopped him that Sunday to pay them N800.00 and he said he didn’t have it at that time. They started beating him up.
“After that attack his fellow drivers rushed him to a hospital where he died and we later brought him to Akwudo mortuary from where we are taking the corpse to Police Area Command, Onitsha.
“If we are not satisfied we will take the body to Governement House, Awka. These agboros work for some people and both the Governor and Commissioner for Transport are aware of that.”
One of the drivers who simply identified himself as CY said, “Chukwujekwu told me he had promised to pay them the N800 in his next trip since that was his first trip after being out of business for some time because of his faulty bus but they refused.
“That Sunday he came to report the incident to me, he was bleeding profusely after he was stabbed on the head with sharp object.”
Daily Vendor gathered that the drivers not only pay N800 daily to the touts outside N3,300.00 weekly payments to State governement, but also pay N1,000 each time they loaded either in Onitsha or Nnewi on daily basis.