Motorcyclists protest against alleged police extortion in Ondo
More than 500 commercial motorcyclists in Ondo State yesterday embarked on a massive protest against incessant dehumanization and extortion by policemen.
The protest by the aggrieved motorcyclists was sparkled off by an accident in Akure metropolis caused by some policemen on patrol, who allegedly attempted to forcefully collect money a cyclist.
The Guardian learnt that the action of the policemen who were stationed very close to the office of the Special Anti Robbery Squad along Oda Road, Akure, involved a motorcyclist carrying two passengers.
According to an eyewitness, the commercial motorcycle rider and his passengers fell off and sustained various degrees of injuries.
“As one of the policemen stopped the Okada rider in order to carry out the usual extortion, the motorcyclist suddenly turned back to run away from the policemen, but he fell down with his two passengers.
“The three men sustained serious injuries and that was why other motorcyclists in the area gathered to stage the protest,” he said, adding that the policemen fled the scene immediately it occurred.
The protesters, mostly commercial motorcyclists, who ply Alagbaka/Oda/Igbatoro routes, barricaded the popular Oda Road for several hours, causing traffic gridlock in the area.
They alleged that the men of the command attached to the Ala Police Station always stationed themselves on the road to extort money from them, lamenting that they were forced to pay amount ranging from N100 to N500.
Nevertheless, the situation was brought under control due to the prompt intervention of some senior police officers from the command, led by Mr. Musibau Ajani, who promised to treat the wounded and repair the damaged motorcycle.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said the matter would be investigated, adding that the command had treated the wounded motorcyclist and the passengers.
He said: “When they commenced the protest, we appealed to them and we have commenced investigation into the matter. We have promised to take responsibility of the wounded persons. We have also taken a disciplinary action against the policeman that was alleged to have caused the accident.”
Joseph appealed to the commercial motorcyclists in the state to be calm and assured them that the command would deal with any officer that engage in any professional misconduct.
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