Ado-Ekiti — Movement of vehicles and commercial activities was yesterday paralysed in Ado-Ekiti as commercial drivers under the auspices of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), staged a violent protest over alleged detention of their member by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The protest began on Monday at Ajilosun area, where motorists traveling to Ikere-Ekiti from the state capital were held up for several hours as drivers took to the streets over the arraignment and detention of a driver, Mr. Ahmed Kolo, for alleged attempt to kill the governor.
The driver, who was said to have driven recklessly against the governor's convoy on September 24 when the governor personally drove to Ajilosun area, was arraigned at the Ado Ekiti Magistrate's court for an attempt to kill the governor.
According to the protesters, the governor went ahead despite assurances that the driver had been forgiven, which forced them to troop out to the streets in protest.The irate commercial vehicle operators made bonfires on Okeyinmi-Ijigbo-Ajilosun road with thick smoke was bellowing to the sky, which created panic among commuters along that route.
One of the drivers, who craved anonymity, said: "One of us was shot at Ajilosun very close to Fayose market. There is no way we won't revenge the killing. We are even going to burn down police stations if that boy dies."
He also refused to disclose the hospital where the victim was receiving treatment. The drivers, who damaged many vehicles parked on the way, including a Toyota Avensis, marked Ondo AKR 657 FW, belonging to Mrs. Florence Olukolade, also maltreated passersby and commuters.
During the protest, the drivers shot into the air and brandished dangerous weapons, like bottles, cutlasses, axes and charms, as they hurled stones at the anti-riot policemen, who were deployed in the area to quell the crisis.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Modupe Alade, said the driver was rude to the governor and refused to apologise, saying this accounted for why he was arrested and taken to court for traffic offence.
"This driver drove recklessly against the convoy and he was arrested. Rather than apologizing, he was rude to the governor. The governor asked them to come and apologise , but they refused. The governor as a no-nonsense person won't tolerate any threat from anybody. And not until he apologize, he won't be released."
Spokesman of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, said nobody was shot. "Let me make it clear, nobody was shot at by our men and we have not even arrested anybody. We are dialoguing with the leadership of the drivers' union and we are sure that the matter will be resolved soon".