The Aba – Owerri Expressway was on Tuesday shut down by incensed tricycle riders in Owerri, the Imo State capital, in protest of the death of one of them who was crushed to death by a BUA company truck.
The yet to be identified tricycle rider was reportedly crushed to death by the driver of the truck on the Owerri-Port Harcourt Road, before the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ office.
An eyewitness, Silas Okere, a staff of Owerri Capital Development Authority, told our correspondent at the accident scene that it was in a bid to escape some touts working for the Environmental Transformation Commission, an agency of the state government, that the auto crash occurred.
According to Okere, the truck driver with the number plate, Jigawa KZR 217 ZT had veered off the tarred road in a bid to beat the ENTRACO officials who were giving him a hot chase in a Sienna vehicle.
The eyewitness said that as the truck driver veered off the road, it rammed into the tricycle operator who had parked nearby, killing him immediately.
According to him, immediately the incident occurred, the ENTRACO officials fled, while the driver of the truck, his conductor and his police escort also fled, abandoning their truck which was full of bags of cement.
Angered by the death of one of them, the tricycle riders besieged ENTRACO’s corporate office on Owerri-Aba road, and attempted to set it ablaze.
They were, however, prevented from carrying out the act by some police officers led by the Owerri Area Commander, Francis Bassong, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, who cordoned them off.
The tricycle operators then resorted to blocking the major road to express their anger, hindering vehicular and pedestrian movement within the area as a result.
The protesters called on Governor Rochas Okorocha to sanitise the commission.
The managing Director of ENTRACO, Jeff Nwoha, said that as much as the company regretted the death of the tricycle operator, his death was not caused by his men