By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Motorists plying Kaduna- Zaria express way were stranded on Sunday night after a Soldier was alleged to have shot a trailer driver for refusing to offer him 500 naira bribe.
The incident occurred around 10 pm, at a temporary installed check point close to Mararrabar Jos, in the outskirt of Kaduna.
It was gathered that when the news spread to the city, his fellow drivers protested the shooting by blocking the highway with their vehicles for hours, making it difficult for motorists to get across.
The victim was rushed to saint Gerard’s Hospital in Kaduna by good samaritans that found him in pool of his blood.
The victim Abba Saminu, who spoke to Africa Prime News Correspondent, narrated how the incident occurred;
“We were on our way back to Kaduna with Irish potatoes inside the vehicle when we came across a check point mounted by the soldiers around 10 pm on sunday, close to Mararrabar Jos.
“They ordered us to park, as I was about parking by the roadside, one of the soldiers demanded 500 naira from me. I told him I can only afford a 100 naira. So he shouted at us and ordered us out of the vehicle,” he said.
According to Abba, as soon as he alighted from the vehicle, another soldier slapped him.
“When I turned to run, I heard a gun shot, so I fell down. They entered their vehicle and zoom off. It was some people that later came to rush me to hospital,” he said.
Abba’s employer, Alhaji Ibrahim who was at the hospital appealed to military authority and government to bring an end to harassment against drivers by soldiers on the highways.
He said drivers are always subjected to all kinds of intimidation and harassment by security agents stationed on high ways for refusing to offer them bribe.
“We know that their leaders didn’t send them to be harassing people, but the soldiers always demand bribe from our drivers on highways, if they refuse to give them, they are subjected to all sorts of harassment,” he said.
Alhaji Ibrahim described the soldiers attitude towards drivers as illegal, calling on government to put an end to it.
Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Kaduna State Governor, Samuel Aruwan confirmed the incident.
According to him, the State Governor had directed his Deputy, Bala Bantex and State Commissioner of Police to visit the scene to plead with the drivers union to allow stranded vehicles access to road.
He pleaded with the citizens to avoid taking laws into their hands, saying they should always channel their grievances to the right authority.
Effort by our Correspondent to speak with Army, One Division, Public Relations Officer, Colonel Usman Abdul failed as he didn’t answer his phone.