COMTUA Blames Government Insincerity For Extortion On Port Access Roads

COMTUA Blames Government Insincerity For Extortion On Port Access Roads

Following the recent alarm raised by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) about the increasing extortion along the access roads of the Lagos and Tin Can Island Port Complexes, the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Association (COMTUA) has disclosed that insincerity on the part of the government is fuelling the menace.  

Dike Ekene Collins, National Organising Secretary of the association made the accusation during a special virtual interactive session with the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN)

“Now the issue of extortion has been going on over a long period of time, even before we assumed office as the executives of COMTUA. This menace has continued unabated because of insincerities on the part of government, insincerities on the part of government agencies, both states and federal and even the actions of state and non-state actors.

You see, this extortion is happening even in daylight. On the road where everybody can see it. Because these guys are extorting truckers in the name of a union. Some of them brandish weapons in broad daylight to vandalize our trucks” he started.

Collins disclosed that the association has videos, pictures, and evidence that have been submitted to the government about those involved, and yet nothing is being done about it.

“We’ve met several at different stations located in Lagos we’ve complained, we’ve written, we’ve addressed even to the point of AIG and IG yet most of the time when we go to the police station, we’ll be told that we don’t have any white paper from the government in question.

And when we go back to the government, the government will tell us that the police know their duty, that the police should do their duty. And this is how we’ve been moving back and forth. And it’s not been helping.

And how this has been affecting, it has been affecting our business. For instance, most of our drivers, some of them are driving in fear.

We have instances whereby the drivers crushed about three people around the trade fair, including a police officer because these thugs are struggling and are dragging steering with the driver on the road.

And it has been happening. We have pictures of accidents, we have videos of which we, each time we complain, the police will push us to the government agencies, the government agencies will push us back to the police and each time the police will tell us, give us white paper.

We have asked them, do you need a white paper to do what is in the law, to do something that is lawful, but it has continued” he lamented.

He called on the government to come to their aid and make a pronouncement on the action of these hoodlums.

“We need the governments of the land to make a pronouncement. We saw how they pronounce the ban on Okada. That is just what we need.

The way they pronounce the ban on Okada and the way they acted on it, the way the enforcement agencies acted on it, to date, nothing has been said about the issue of extortion, the issue of Agberos operating everywhere in Lagos.

And let me tell you, what these guys do is, they are defying our terminals, where we operate, the place of a visit for these trucks, the station they serve at strategic places and keep extorting from our members” he added.

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