Trailer drivers have blocked Zaria-Kaduna highway over the alleged shooting of one of their colleagues by soldiers at a military check point at the dismantled toll gate near Tudun Wadan Dankande in Igabi Local Government, Kaduna State.
A staff of Nagarta Radio and some of the drivers caught in the traffic jam, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES via telephone said the situation has degenerated into chaos with commuters abandoning their vehicles to trek the long distance.
Salisu Babayo, a commercial driver, alleged that a soldier shot at the trailer driver for refusing to give the soldier N200.
“The trailer driver insisted on giving them N100, which they declined and opened fire on him around 11:00pm Sunday night,” Mr. Babayo said. “That was when the situation degenerated when other trailer drivers and many vehicles protesting the soldiers’ action blocked the road around 3:00am.
“The traffic gridlock is getting worse. Right now, it is around Kawo-Maraban Jos, Birnin Yero and is going beyond Jaji cantonment. It will get up to beyond Zaria if the authorities do not do anything to resolve the issue. Some soldiers who managed to get to the scene had to leave because they could not control the situation.”
He said hunger and fatigue was beginning to take effect on commuters as food vendors make brisk business.
“Those soldiers at that check point have for long been extorting N200 from drivers,” Mr. Babayo said. “Sometimes, they will also ask passengers who do not have national identity card to drop N200 and go. So, we are used to their action. What is strange is why they had to shoot a driver who gave them N100?”
The spokesperson of 1 Mechanized Division Nigerian Army, Abdul Usman, a colonel, when contacted on phone said personnel have been drafted to investigate the issue.
“We are trying to find out exactly what happened,” he said. “Some personnel have gone to find out. We will give you details later.”