Drivers protest in Kano after KAROTA officials damage trailer’s tyres

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Angry drivers on Friday used many long trucks to barricade the eastern bypass thoroughfare on Yankaba-Hotoro area in protest after some officials of the Kano Road and Traffic Agency (KAROTA) used deflation device to puncture tyres of a trailer.

The incident is coming just six days after a KAROTA official, Abdurrahman Bayero, was crushed to death by a trailer driver around the same area.

Kano Focus reports that trouble started after the three KAROTA operatives stopped a truck driver who was just entering the city and demanded payment of revenue.

But the driver, Rabiu Ali, reportedly refused to pay the money, saying he had already made the same payment to other KAROTA personnel before arriving at that point.

Mr Ali also produced a receipt as evidence to support his claim, according to eyewitnesses.

However, it was learnt that the traffic officials, rejected the receipt and insisted that the trucker must make a fresh payment, a demand he also refused.

Angry with Mr Ali, who has since started driving away, the KAROTA operatives pushed a deflation device in his path, which immediately shredded and damaged three of the vehicle’s tires.

Outraged by the traffic officials’ act, Mr Ali, abandoned the vehicle in the middle of the road in protest, the witnesses said.

“The driver refused to pay and tried to move but one of the three KAROTA officials pushed a huge metal spike in his path. The vehicle drove over the spikes which burst three of its tires. That’s why the driver blocked the road,” an eyewitness Ibrahim Abdullahi said.

It was gathered that other truckers plying the road soon joined the fray and also switched of their vehicles, causing a heavy traffic gridlock which lasted for over five hours in the area, putting many vehicle owners in distress.

The protesters vowed not to vacate the road until the KAROTA officials responsible for damaging the truck’s tires were arrested.

But another eyewitness Abubakar Muhammed said Mr Ali had already agreed to make another payment of N2,000 to the KAROTA officials and was trying to park, when his tires were damaged.

“He was trying to park but the KAROTA officials thought he was attempting to run that’s why they threw him a big metal with nails that punctured his tires and quickly ran away,” he said.

However KAROTA spokesperson Nabilisi Abubakar Kofar Na’isa denied the allegations against the agency’s personnel.

He said the traffic officials tried to stop the affected truck for a search but the driver refused to stop, compelling them to use a deflation device to force him to stop.

“As you know every truck that comes to Kano must be searched to see what the truck is carrying. This was what we tried to do but the driver resisted.

“Our personnel had shown him the deflation device and threatened to use it but he still ignored the warning and they had to use it to deflate his tires. The driver then abandoned the vehicle and caused a traffic snarl,” Mr Kofar Na’isa said.

He added that the matter had been reported to the police for investigation.

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