There were violent protests in Onitsha, Anambra state yesterday after a commercial bus driver was shot dead by a policeman for refusing to pay a N50 bribe. Sources say that the policeman, an Hausa man, had stopped the commercial bus at a checkpoint and asked the driver for N50, but the driver gave him N20 which is typically what bus drivers pay when they cross the checkpoint.
The policeman is said to have refused to accept N20 and the bus driver refused to pay N50, and instead drove away. The policeman then jumped on a commercial motorcycle, "okada", and pursued the bus. He shot the tyres and disabled then bus and then he shot and killed the driver. He then fled on the motorcycle. The bus was said to have been fully loaded with passengers when the policeman shot at it and four passengers are reported to have also been shot. The conductor of the bus who was in tears while speaking to reporters said, "The policemen said that we must give them N50 before we move.My oga said that he had paid in the former trip and drove away. But we did not know that one of them was following us on motorcycle and he intercepted us and shot my oga in the neck and immediately escaped.Ã¢
As residents of Onitsha became aware of the shooting of the bus driver, who is also alleged to be a member of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), they took to the streets in protest and some Ã¢okada ridersÃ¢ drove around the streets with the corpse of the driver, calling for revenge attacks on Hausa people in Onitsha. Many Hausa people ran to police stations in the city, and some fled across the bridge to Asaba in Delta State.
Reacting to the development, the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, advised his members not to attack any Hausa person but asked the police to dismantle all police checkpoints in the zone immediately. He said, "For an Hausa policeman to shoot an Igbo driver here, because of mere N20 shows that the policeman is a Boko Haram member but we have urged MASSOB members to leave Hausa people alone, because they are not our problem. They should concentrate on dismantling all police checkpoints within the zone."
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, said that the policeman that shot the driver has been arrested and will soon be put on trial. He asked the citizens to remain calm.
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sanyfavour onitsha, Nigeria January 15, 2014
This is too bad,just because of a mere N50,a policeman lost lives of people. A Nigerian police is for peace,security n order in the nation is this the way they are ensuring peace n security of the citizen. For me is intentional n he must face trial for murdering innocent citizens,he should suffer for what he did
Adamu sambo Yobe, Nigeria February 28, 2012
d ppl wey dey kil igbos in north not a only ctzn of nrth dat ppl r 4rm CAN no 1 can kil igbo real
EBA LONDON, ENGLAND February 17, 2012
That shows how our so call leaders and the police made Nigeria to be place of which you will not be able to trust the police with your life. if a police man can kill for N50 that indicates our police is rotting from the head to the lowest rank.this is not the matter of Hausa, Ibo or tribes the police man knows he will get away with anything as long as he can give enough return to his superior. we all know justice in Nigeria is whom you know, the police man should be killed
Pat Akanbi Lagos, Nigeria February 14, 2012
The Hausa police should be killed in the present of the Igbos in Anambra state. The hausa has finish the Igbos in the north now right in the east. He should be killed, he could even be one of the Boko haram
Elugwe Owerri, Nigeria February 11, 2012
First of all, my condolences to the family of the Bus driver. May his soul rest in peace. Nigerian government and its Police Force should be made to adequately compensate the family of the deceased to the amount that will force the government to look inward and act like a human institution. Can the IG of Police or any official of the government explain to Nigerians the purpose of Police check point in every nuke and corner of Nigeria. Additionally, the government should publicly proclaim if the toll/dues/bribery or whatever is official, if so how much should be paid. They cannot claim ignorance, the public deserve to know.