Commercial drivers protest death of colleague, passengers

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  • Three dead, others injured

Commercial drivers plying the ever-busy Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway yesterday barricaded the major road connecting the five states of the southeast and Southsouth following the death of their colleague and passengers in the commercial vehicle heading to Enugu State capital.

The driver  of the said 40ft container loaded with baby pampers, whose name could not be ascertained, has been arrested and detained by the state Police Command.

Reports have it that the drivers were protesting the death of their colleague and passengers in a 18-seater bus after a truck driver crushed them to death at a police checkpoint near the popular cow market in Umuchieze axis of Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.

According to sources, police officers on stop-and-search on the expressway on Wednesday evening, stopped the bus driver, who after sorting himself out, was not allowed to go as the police officers had wanted to use him to stop other vehicles, including an articulate truck that was coming from a distance.

Sources said attempts by the articulate truck driver to bring his vehicle to a halt failed following breakdown of the truck’s breaks, forcing the driver to ram into the stationary bus.

Some of the commercial drivers and private car owners resorted to using the Okigwe-Abakiliki-Isiagu route to continue their movement to Enugu as the road was still being blocked by the protesting drivers.

In a telephone interview, the Special Adviser to the governor of Abia State, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, the state government had swing into action as the Mayor of Umunneochi Local Government Area, at the time of filing the report was already making effort to deploy a crane to evacuate the truck and other cars from the scene to ensure free flow of vehicles on the road, while they await details of the incident.

However, contrary to reports, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Maureen Chinaka, only said three persons died, while others were wounded.

Chinaka in a statement said: “On  15/05/2024 at about 22:30hrs, the Isiochi police divisional headquarters received a report of a fatal motor accident along Port Harcourt-Enugu Expressway, near Lekwesi Umuchieze in Umueneochi LGA of Abia State.’’

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