By Lawal A Dogara, Kaduna
Residents of Kaduna metropolis on Monday trekked long distances to their various places of work. This followed the action by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers , NURTW protested and flooded the streets to condemn what they described as harassment and extortion of their members by the officials of Kaduna State Traffic Law Enforcement Agency, KASTLEA.
A bus driver , Salihu Usman , who plies Kawo to Sabo said” The cheating and harassment is too much that we can no longer bear it, and that is why we are out in numbers to tell the world that we are not happy with the way we are being treated by this so called KASTLEA.”
When asked if the leaders of the NURTW were aware of the happening , he said “We are been sold out by our leaders. They are only representing their interest, not ours.”
The Kaduna state chairman of NURTW, Alh. Alhassan Haruna 313 described those who flooded the street in the name of protesting over extortion and harassment as thugs who want to seize available opportunity to cause chaos in the state, saying that they are not members of the NURTW.
While speaking on the protest, Haruna 313 said ” The union is not part of any protest, because I was in KASTLEA office earlier to meet the G.M on the way out over the new policy of tax collection from motorist, but funny enough Information reached me that some hoodlums have taken over in the name of NURTW to disturb the peace of Kaduna residents , by forcing them out of buses and stopping drivers from carrying passengers.”
However the General Manager KASTLEA, Abdulkadir Zubairu while addressing pressmen in his office over the issue said “the agency has been existing for over seven months, and we don’t have any problem with the motorist why now ?” he asked.
He continued further by describing such act as a strategy by the opposition to undermine the government of the day , thereby making the state ungovernable.
” We need to find out who these guys are and where they are coming from, because from all indications, it shows that they are imported into Kaduna state to come and cause disorderliness, ” he emphasised.