By Patrick Obia, Cross River Watch
The Association of Cross River Online Journalists, ACROJ, has frowned at the continuous manhandling, harassment and humiliation of commercial drivers in the Calabar metropolis by agents of the Transport Management and Regulatory Agency, TRAMRA.
The Chairman of ACROJ, Comrade Edem Darlington, expressed worries over the continuous harassment of taxi drivers in the metropolis by the agents who move around town in unrecognized vehicles.
The journalist also lamented the government’s silence over the human rights abuses meted out on drivers by its agents without punishment.
“Dear Cross Riverians, anywhere you see the staff of the state criminal gang known as CTRA, kindly rally around and hand them over to security agents. The manner they are harassing our hardworking taxi drivers is becoming worrisome and should not be tolerated. If the state government likes, they should remain silent,” he said.
A video surfaced online shows how Mr. Mbaying Mpon, a taxi driver was subjected to inhuman treatment by officials of TRAMRA, with Audi blue color and plate number: Cross River, CAL.599 TC.
Mbaying was beaten and his car forcefully taken away from him to an unknown destination on Thursday,19 May 2022 in Calabar.
Mr. Mbaying’s humiliation is one amongst other abuses carried out by these task force officials.
Mr. Chuks Solomon, a taxi driver was humiliated and stripped naked in front of Calabar Municipal by a task force team suspected to have rooted from the council on March 17, 2021; an allegation the Chairman of the council, Effefiong Eke refuted. Eke however submitted to public pressure and gave the victim N550,000 for damages.
Also, Mr. Michael Eyo, a trader and father of four kids was beaten and killed by officials from the Cross River State Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) on June 21, 2019, along Calabar road.
Sources at the scene of the event said Eyo, who sold shoes by the roadside, was beaten by DOPT personnel for trading by the roadside instead of having a shop inside the market to house his business.