Gridlock on Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road as Truck Drivers Block Highway over Taxes

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Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

Traffic on the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road was heavy monday as hundreds of truck drivers used their vehicles to block the road in a protest over exorbitant taxes.

The road which serves as one of the major road between the North and South was blocked for about eight hours by the truck drivers.

Many vehicles traveling along the road were forced to stop because of the protest as the drivers blocked the road on both sides with their vehicles.

Some travellers who spoke with THISDAY said they were shocked over the situation because the blockage prevented over 500 vehicles from traveling along the road.

Some of the truck drivers who spoke with THISDAY alleged that they were made to pay N2,000 then suddenly jumped to N5,000 and later increased to N10, 000 by the Board of Internal Revenue without any notice, stressing that the exorbitant taxation was uncalled for.

They stated that at this critical period, they cannot afford the amount as they called on the Kogi State Government to reverse its decision with immediate effect.

However, it took the intervention of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) and the police to control the situation.

The state Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe, who visited the scene held talks with some of the truck drivers as he appealed to them to make way for motorists to pass.

Chafe, while speaking with journalists, said they had meet with the leadership of the trunk drivers’ union, saying all stakeholders will meet on Wednesday to find lasting solution to the appealed to the truck drivers not to take laws into their hands, noting that the issue can be solved without blockage of the road.

Also speaking with journalists, the head of the FRSC, in the statem Mr. Abayomi Omiyale, said they were in control of the situation, stressing that in the next three hours, there will be free movement of vehicles.

Meanwhile, effort to speak with the Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Yakubu Oseni, proved abortive as THISDAY was told that he was in a meeting.