Taxi drivers yesterday blocked major roads in Abuja to protest what they described as unjust treatment by members of the FCT joint task force.
The protest is coming barely one week after there was chaos around Wuse market when the drivers protested against alleged manhandling of their colleagues by members of the FCT ministerial taskforce.
Around Apo axis, before Apo Roundabout, the drivers chanted anti-government slogans and drove away people trying to board vehicles to their places of work. This led to parents scampering to safety with their children who they were taking to school.
At Kabusa Junction, the protesters continued to disrupt traffic while three police vehicles were stationed with a dozen officers watching as the irate drivers prevented people from boarding cars.
An assistant superintendent of police declined comment on the situation, but when prompted further, he said they were only called to come and observe the situation.
One of the protesters, Elisha Matthias, said, “We have suffered in the hands of the police, VIO, SARS and other security agents in mufti who stop us, seize our cars, detain us and collect money from us without receipt in the name of crimes we do not know.
“Most of us here are IDPs but the security agents are preventing us from earning a living. Government should come to our aid.”
At Gudu axis and Garki Area 1 roundabout, the story was the same as passengers were left stranded because of the demonstration.
At the Area 1 roundabout, a driver who had leaves tied to his Gulf car said the drivers were not going to stop protesting until government came to their rescue.
Meanwhile, the Painted Commercial Taxi Drivers Association of Nigeria (PAT), the umbrella body for painted taxis that ply Abuja routes, has said the protest was carried out by unidentified persons.
“This is to notify the general public that we are not part of any purported protest by some unidentified persons. We hereby call on members of PAT not to participate in the said protest,” the statement signed by Shehu Shugaba Yar’adua, president of PAT, said.
The statement, however, said PAT will support government to get rid of miscreants and unpainted taxis in the FCT.