Commercial motorcyclists in Ogwashi-Uku community of Delta have withdrawn their services from Azagba village, Ogwashi-Uku road over alleged cases of police extortions.
The road leading to the Delta Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku was on Friday deserted by many commercial motorcyclists, who complained of high extortion by police operatives on the road.
The development left many students of the Polytechnic, who lived in Azagba and Iselle-Azagba villages, stranded as they depended on the cyclists, being the major source of transportation on the route.
A commercial cyclist, Mr. Uche Ezendu, told NAN that some of the cyclists were forced to withdraw their services on Friday due to alleged ”high rate of extortion by two police patrol teams” stationed on the road.
“We can no longer bear the high extortion. Everyday, we pay N100 to a SARS patrol team from Asaba and another patrol team from the Ogwashi-Uku Division on the same road.
“This extortion has been on over a long time and nobody is saying anything about the activities of these police teams. They just stationed themselves within a distance of four poles apart.
“Imagine two different police teams mounting a checkpoint on a four kilometer road, collecting N100 each from cyclists, motorists and other road users. This is very outrageous if you ask me.
“We used to charge N200 as transport fare from Azagba to the Ogwashi, and that amount is what we also pay to the police teams on the road, so we are left with nothing after each trip,” Ezendu said.
Also, a student of the Polytechnic, Miss Anthonia Ukonu, described the activities of the police teams on the road as ”highly disgraceful to the image of the Nigeria Police force”.
She regretted that the activities had forced the cyclists to hike their fare, making it difficult for many students to go to school daily.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the Delta Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, told NAN on phone that the command would investigate the allegations and take necessary action against any officer found extorting motorists.
“We are going to investigate these allegations. First and for foremost, I will reach out to the officers in charge of these two police units mentioned. I will inform the SARS commander and the DPO in Ogwashi-Uku about these allegations.
“We don’t condone any act of official misconduct, because issues like this bring bad image to the Nigeria Police and we will not allow that,” Aniamaka said.