By G9ija

Tipper drivers in Anambra state on Friday staged a peaceful protest over alleged imposition of leadership on them by the state government.

The group under the aegis of Anambra/Imo Tipper drivers Association carried placards and blocked the entrance to the State Secretariat with their trucks, insisting they would not tolerate such imposition.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “We say no to secret inauguration,”, “We don’t need idle dictators in office, “we need drivers on seat,”, “Obiano hear our cry, “obey Federal High Court.”

Addressing newsmen Friday, National President of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Ezeokafor, lamented continued harassment and extortions by the government.

He said the alleged kangaroo leadership structure made up of politicians was to pave way for government’s continued perpetuation of corruption in the system.

He said, “We’re here to express our annoyance over the state government. We have so many problems which we’ve been writing to the government for its intervention.

“Since they refused to listen to us, we went to Federal High Court here in Awka and got judgement declaring the money being collected from us on latrite, stone and sand as illegal because they are all under exclusive list.

“We’ve made several attempts to meet face-to-face with the governor to tell him what we’re passing through, but certain government officials have been frustrating such moves and telling him lies.

“They use all forms of intimidation, including use of Police to chase us. Sometimes, they handcuff us, calling us common drivers.

“They are now planning to impose some politicians on us who they call tipper drivers. How can someone who is not a driver be leading tipper drivers?

“We got this information late last night and we came here and discovered it’s true. But we assure them that such imposition won’t work. We have our own institution and leaders.

“We have different associations registered under CAC. We don’t need such, rather we want the state government to obey the Court order.

According to Ezeokafor, the drivers had requested the government allowed them collect the money themselves and remit monthly levy of N10million directly to the state government coffers.

“But instead of agreeing with our terms, they keep extorting us between N700 to N1, 400 from each trip. Meanwhile, we used to pay N200 during past government.

“We are responsible and obedient citizens of the state. We’re ready to dialogue with them. But they must be ready to help us, just as we’re ready to help them.”