Drivers of heavy trucks on Sunday blocked major roads leading into the Gombe state capital over alleged extortion and harassment by a state taskforce to enforce compulsory use of a parking bay sited about 11 kilometres outside the capital.
The blockade brought vehicle traffic to a standstill, as other motorists coming and going out of the metropolis near the NNPC Depot, were stranded, forcing many passengers to abandon their vehicles and resort to trekking.
Some of the drivers alleged that the taskforce has been working against them right from inception and vowed to continue the blockade until the government agrees to their initial agreement.
One driver, Mohammed Sani, alleged he was made to pay a N200,000 fine by a mobile court attached to the task force for parking his vehicle to purchase an airtime recharge voucher on his way to Yola.
The drivers accused the taskforce of indiscriminate harassment and extortion in the name of enforcing the law.
Deputy Chairman of the Heavy Truck Drivers Association, Auwalu Abdullahi said the leaders directed the drivers to block major roads in the state capital to protest activities of the task-force.
“We are tired of having our drivers charged to pay fine over an incident which is not their doing. There is no way you will arrest a driver whose truck broke down and ask him to pay fine.
“We are using the in order to call the task-force to order because we had an agreement with them on how to embark on the enforcement,” Abdullahi said.
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