At least 15 people sustained injuries and property worth millions of Naira destroyed after two groups of transport workers clashed in Onitsha, Anambra State, over multiple levies.
Witnesses said trouble started after the leader of the Asaba/Onitsha Unit of the urban drivers unit, Chief Peter Jindu aka Pikolo, led a mob to Onitsha and Asaba end of the bridge head, shutting down routes to Onitsha and Asaba.
The crisis left traders and other passengers, who came to buy and sell from Onitsha and Asaba, stranded and they had to trek several kilometres during the four days period that the protest lasted.

It was learnt that the protest escalated as both factions mobilised and engaged in a free-for-all. Suspected hoodlums seized the opportunity to barge into GUO’s Transport Company’s office and carted away goods, cash and other valuables worth millions of Naira.
Narrating his ordeal, a security officer, attached to GUO’s Transport Company, Asaba, who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons, alleged that the hoodlum came about 3p.m., and blocked entrance to GUO’s office. He said that buses loaded with passengers were attacked. The workers were also attacked before the company was robbed.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GUO Group, Chief G. U. Okeke, accused Jindu of instigating trouble between Onitsha and Asaba.
He said that the leadership of the unit at Onitsha and Asaba were having disagreement over new levies.
He added: “When I heard about the crisis, I invited them and from our interactions with them, we discovered that Jindu, according to allegations, was demanding that my manager at the Onitsha Park should be paying him N20,000 daily instead of the usual N3,000. The said Jindu was a newly elected chairman of the unit in Asaba. I discovered also that he was looking out for his own selfish interest. He deceived his groups at Asaba, who ply Onitsha/Asaba routes, alleging that the Anambra State government was imposing multiple taxations.
“During the meeting, he said that each bus should pay certain amount of money on each trip to Onitsha. But looking at the total money each bus would be paying on each trip, it comes to a total of N6,000. They also informed me that when my manager refused his demand, he went and wrote a petition to the Anambra State government. We were invited to Awka by the Commissioner for Transport, Anambra State, Dr.Christian Madubuko. After the meeting, the commissioner instructed my workers not to take to violence. The next thing Jindu did was to organise thugs and miscreants to shutdown buses from Asaba to Onitsha. 

“As if that was not bad enough, they took advantage of the crisis to attack my office and vandalised my property. I’ve lodged a complaint at the Delta State Police Command. Police are now investigating the matter.”
The Chairman of the Anambra State Park Management, Chief Godwin Ibekwe, and Chief Nelson Enendu, a member of the management, described the act as economic sabotage against Delta and Anambra states.
They explained that Anambra and Delta states do not operate the same transport system, at least not in the same way. Delta operates with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), while it is prohibited and proscribed in Anambra State.
According to Enendu, Jindu was a member of the Urban Drivers Welfare. When they had disagreement in Onitsha, he went to Asaba and formed his own group. He was later elected chairman, which was not up to three months ago. Enendu described Jindu’s claim as a white lie, pointing out that Anambra State has a unified transport ticket and that nobody imposed any tax on drivers.
Axact

ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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