Commercial bus drivers today protested against illegal collection of tickets by touts in Ugbuwangwe area of Warri, Delta State.
The bus drivers who are under unit “A” of the National Union of Road Transport Workers said they cannot afford to buy double tickets daily in Warri South local government area alone.
Secretary of bus drivers in Warri, Mr. Benjamin Agbuza who narrated their ordeal to Fresh Angle during the protest, accused one Mr. Suku Edah , popularly known as ‘Why Worry’ who failed to selfishly split their unit of being the brain behind the double taxation.
Mr. Agbaza alleged that Mr. Edah told him that bus drivers should be paying two hundred and fifty naira to the unit “A” while one hundred and fifty naira should be paid to his self imposed unit on daily basis. According to him, he bluntly told Mr. Edah that the idea will not be acceptable as bus drivers cannot afford double tickets daily. Mr. Agbaza who described Mr. Edah “as inhuman” explained further that Mr. Edah who is an executive member of unit “A” left them to unit “B” at Ugbuwangwe.
He accused Mr. Edah of attempting to incite ethnic crisis in the area. He disclosed that the matter which has been on for almost a month has been reported to the Head of Personnel Management of Warri South local government council, Mr. James Kolo, who according to him, detailed soldiers to apprehend Mr. Suku Edah without success.
A bus driver who also spoke to Our Senior Correspondent on condition of anonymity said the approved ticket from the Warri South Council is being sold for four hundred naira daily, while that of Mr. Suku Edah goes for one hundred and fifty naira daily. The driver alleged that Suku Edah first came to Okere Junction along Warri Sapele road to sell the illegal ticket , but had to relocate to Ugbuwangwe after he failed in his first attempt .
The protesters who were at the Warri South Council Secretariat to register their grievance, moved on to the Warri main garage in a convoy of over 20 buses via the Warri Sapele road, causing traffic for about 30 minutes.
Our Senior Correspondent who covered the protest which was peaceful, reports that there was visible presence of policemen on routine patrol along the Warri Sapele road axis during the protest.
Investigations by Fresh Angle reveal that today’s protest is a climax of the untold hardship passengers going to NPA Newport and Ugbuwangwe area had to go through in recent times, following refusal of bus drivers plying the route to terminate at the Ugbuwangwe end. Majority of the buses have been making u turn at Ekurede Itsekiri end of NPA Expressway in a bid to beat the new illegal collection at the “B” unit in Ugbuwangwe market.