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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Extortion: Police, truckers clash at Apapa port

Extortion: Police, truckers clash at Apapa port

Pandemonium was let loose at the Apapa port on Thursday as police shot sporadically in the air to disperse protesting truckers who were threatening to take the law into their hands following extortion claims on truck owners by security operatives.

According to findings, some trucks operators who had spent long hours on the queue to enter the ports became angry when men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and other port security officials allowed some of their colleagues who had just arrived the queue to go into the ports after parting with some amount of money.

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The truckers, who had spent long hours on the queue which paralysed traffic along Wharf Road which leads into the port complex, became angry and started a protest which turned ugly, forcing policemen to shoot into the air to disperse the angry mob that almost disrupted port operations.

When contacted, the chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi confirmed that the protest was borne out of reaction to extortion by security operatives at the Apapa Port entrance.

According to him, “Our members protested today and the police had to shoot in the air to restore order at the port entrance, but the situation is under control now.

“I have just been briefed that one of my member sustained a gunshot wound in the thigh. He is however in the hospital receiving treatment.”

On the cause of the protest, Ogungbemi explained that, “I was told that some truckers became angry that some of their colleagues who had just arrived the queue were being allowed into the ports by security officials after parting with a particular amount of money.

“This infuriated other truckers who had been on the queue for days, and instead of them to vent their anger peacefully, they protested and the protest was almost hijacked by other elements.

This prompted the police to shoot into the air to restore order. Everything is calm as I speak to you now.”

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