The Borno State commissioner of police, Damian Chukwu, has suspended the state’s Central Motor Traffic Division (CMTD) until investigations into allegations of extortion levelled against its operatives by motorcycle riders in the state are concluded.
The Keke-NAPEP operators have also accused the local government authorities in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council of collecting “illegal levies” even without providing any park.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier on Monday reported how Maiduguri, the state capital, was rocked by protests by the riders over alleged police maltreatment.
Hundreds of commercial tricycle riders barricaded all major routes and highways to register their displeasure.
Despite the deployment of soldiers and the use of teargas on the riders by the police, the protest, which had stagnated movement in most part of the city, went on for hours.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the protesters only decided to move their vehicles off the roads following the intervention of the Borno State government.
Speaking on the development, Mr Chukwu said though things have been put under control, the police had gone extra steps to launch an investigation into the allegations levelled against CMTD.
He also said the unit would cease functioning until the investigations are concluded.
“In the morning hours of today, different groups of tricycle operators mobilised themselves and blocked some roundabouts within Maiduguri Metropolis, claiming illegal collection of levies by local government authorities without provision of motorparks,” the official said.
“The protesters also alleged harassment and extortion by security personnel especially the Central Motor Traffic Division, Maiduguri.
“The Borno State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and I promptly intervened and the situation was brought under control. No loss of life or injury sustained; and no damage to property recorded. Normalcy has returned with free flow of vehicular traffic and persons.
“In the meantime, I have disbanded the Central Motor Traffic Division pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation by the State,” he added.