Drivers of commercial vehicles yesterday grounded Enugu, the coal city, as they embarked on a protest over what they called manhandling and excess penalties paid to traffic regulators popularly called MOT, Ministry of Transport, traffic regulators.
As a result of the alleged highhandedness, no bus, taxi or keke was allowed to carry commuters.
This forced civil servants, traders and students to trek to their destinations as there were no vehicles to carry them.
It was gathered that labour and transport union leaders marched to Government House, to complain to the governor but were stopped at the gate by security operatives.
A motorist who, spoke on the development, said it was unhealthy to charge a motorist N30,000.00 because his vehicle broke down on the road or because a driver stopped to pick a passenger when a bus stop is filled with stationary vehicles waiting to load passengers.
Piqued by this development, a human rights organisation, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) condemned what MOT over its attitude to the motorists in the state.
The organisation in statement to the media by their president, Olu Omotayo, warned government not to set up mobile courts to try traffic offenders other than the conventional courts.
“We submit that respect for peoples’ rights is the hallmark of democracy. The activities of the uniformed officials of Enugu state Ministry of Transport constitute grave right violations; previous administrations respected and enhanced the rights of the citizens of the state, the present administration should not be an exception and therefore retrace its’ steps and respect and preserve the rights of the citizens of the state.
“Nothing should stop the regular courts from continuing to try traffic offenders as obtainable under previous administrations in the state.
“The use of mobile court sitting in ministry of transport is an aberration and the Chief Judge of the State also has a vital role to play in this regard to protect the rights of the citizens as encapsulated under the Constitution,” he said.
Efforts to contact government officials to get their comment on the incident did not yield any dividend at the time of filing this report.
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