On Thursday morning, a wave of disgruntled motorists in Benue State, Nigeria, decided to take matters into their own hands by blocking a critical road network stretching from Gboko town to Lessel. This action was taken as an outcry against the rampant extortion and harassment they face from the Nigeria Police Force personnel stationed at multiple checkpoints along this route.
Drivers present at the protest pointed out that the road, which measures a mere 5 kilometers, is heavily dotted with more than 10 police checkpoints. Instead of these points serving as bastions of law and order, they have become breeding grounds for intimidation and bullying of drivers.
The protesters, an amalgamation of drivers and bikers, have previously reported these issues to various divisional police offices. These include the divisions in Gboko, Lessel, and Wannune. They have also sought the intervention of the state’s Commissioner of Police on numerous occasions. However, their cries for justice have seemingly fallen on deaf ears as the unwarranted harassment continues unabated.
The protest, which started around 8 am, saw the group block the Federal Road connecting Gboko to Lessel. An eye witness recounted, “The protest was against the heightened and deliberate rates of police extortion at the various checkpoints.” The source further added, “They have vowed to keep the road shut until their demands for fair treatment are met.”
SOURCE: Sahara Reporters
IMAGE: Head Topics