Thousands of Nigerians have been trapped for hours as drivers of articulated vehicles block both lanes of the Abuja-Kaduna highway. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the road was blocked following the death of one of the drivers, who was allegedly shot by a policeman for his refusal to give N2000 bribe.
Eyewitnesses said the deceased, a J5 driver, was shot around midnight at a checkpoint near a flour mill company in Kaduna. The driver was allegedly transporting smuggled rice to an unknown destination. It was gathered that a Dangote female truck driver was the first to arrive at the scene and used her truck to block one of the lanes and other drivers joined her to block the other lane. The drivers insisted that they would not remove the barricades until the Kaduna state governor and the commissioner of police in the state address them. The action, however, angered most motorists trapped at the scene, who condemned the unfortunate incident.
”They shouldn’t have taken this measure considering the Eid-el-Kabir festival, which is just two days from today,” a passenger, Musa Garba said. Garba, who was heading to Sokoto from Enugu, said they were trapped since 3:00 am. Other motorists, who condemned both the police and truck drivers for their action, urged the state police command to come to their rescue.
The effort by the few military and other security personnel at the scene, to open the road failed as the aggrieved drivers were not ready to cooperate. However, Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, said the state government was working to resolve the problem.