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 Rivers Motorists decry Hoodlum harassment after Task Force Ban

Rivers Motorists decry Hoodlum harassment after Task Force Ban


Barely three months after the dissolution of the Rivers State Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Motor Parks and Markets, motorists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, are now lamenting incessant harassment from levy-seeking hoodlums.

One of the affected drivers, who gave his name simply as Peter, told Sunday PUNCH that the hoodlums, numbering about 20, seized his car at Rumuola junction, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state and demanded N18,000 to release it.

Peter said, “I am aware that the task force in Rivers State has been banned by the government but I was surprised when some hoodlums stopped me at Rumuola junction. I initially thought they were armed robbers.

“They opened my doors forcefully and jumped into my car asking for union tickets. They were about 20 and they forcefully collected my car key, pushed me out of the driver’s seat and drove me to Rumuokoro where they asked me to pay N18,000. After much pleading, I paid N10,000 to release my car.”

The state government, on August 11, disbanded the task force, following several complaints from members of the public about their alleged extortion and harassment of motorists and street traders.

Another victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed worry over the extortion and urged the state government to intervene.

He said, “I don’t really know if the disbanded task force are now back to work secretly. If they have resumed their work, let the government announce it so that everyone will know.

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