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Okada riders stone, burn down police vehicles over extortion in Abuja

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Some angry bike riders, alongside other road users, created chaos in Abuja on Thursday after some police officers carrying out stop and search duty caused an accident which left a bike rider severely injured.

According to those at the scene, the officers were fond of extorting commercial bike riders along the route, and as a result of the accident, the motorcyclists began to burn tires along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.

As the issue lingered, more than 200 individuals converged at the scene and began to throw stones at Police officers they came across.

Eventually, the mob moved to burn down four police patrol vehicles, forcing vehicular movements in the area to stall for a few hours.

Eventually, the mob was dispersed after police reinforcements arrived the scene to calm things down.

According to Punch, the rider involved in the accident, Salisu Hamidu, sustained an injury on his head and his colleagues appeared to have had enough of the extortion, hence the protest.

A witness lamented, “The policemen have been disturbing the peace of Okada riders on this road for long. They also collect money from us and the taxi drivers.

“We are (like) their Automated Teller Machines. This cannot continue. They may kill some of us but this will not continue.”

In his reaction FACT’s Police spokesperson, DSP Anjuguri Manzah stated that investigations are already underway and the perpetrators of the unrest would be brought to book.

He stated, “The FCT Police Command sternly condemns the unfortunate activities of some hoodlums in the early hours of Thursday that resulted in the obstruction of vehicular movement, vandalism and burning down of observation posts belonging to the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps at Zuba.

“The miscreants attacked police personnel on their legitimate duties and set observation posts belonging to the police and the FRSC on fire as a result of which four vehicles parked within the premises were also burnt.

“The Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, in company with some senior police officers, visited the scene to assess the situation and ensure normalcy was restored to the area.

“He has ordered a discreet investigation that will lead to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous act in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The road has since been opened for vehicular movement and members of the public are enjoined to go about their legitimate activities as calm has been restored to the vicinity.”

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Ademola writes only what his audience can read, consume, and digest in the shortest time possible. Through his creative use of simple but standard vocabulary and imagery, he seeks only to communicate effectively.

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