Niger: Tanker drivers block road over soldier’s alleged physical assault on colleague
By Tina George, Minna
Tanker drivers on Monday, blocked the Minna-Suleja road in protest against alleged physical assault of one of their colleague by a soldier.
Ashenewsonline gathered that the soldier had stopped the said tanker driver, accused him of taking the wrong route and injured as a result of physical assault on the driver.
In protest, the other tanker drivers, who witnessed what happened to their colleague, used their vehicles to block the road, thereby preventing motorists from entering or leaving Minna, the Niger state capital.
Ashenewsonline further learnt that the incident occurred at about 12pm, at the time the other protest by youths over poor electricity supply, was still ongoing.
The drivers, who were not ready to open up the road in spite of pleas from other road users, however agreed after several hours on condition that officials of government would visit to see the assaulted driver.
Speaking with Ashenewsonline, the Niger state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Garba Musa said that the Union would no longer take assaults of its members.
“Cases of soldiers beating up tanker drivers is becoming worrisome in the state and we will not condone that any longer.”
He stressed that although the tanker drivers had agreed to mellow down for now, “but they gave a condition that the situation of the driver would determine their next action.
“We will no longer accept this beating of our drivers. We are in a democratic era and notwithstanding that they are drivers, they are also human beings and have their rights. Such will not be tolerated anymore,” Musa said.