A violent protest rocked the nation’s capital Abuja on Wednesday following the alleged killing of a taxi driver inside Wuse Market.
Taxi drivers in their hundreds caused mayhem in the city as they set up bonfires and blocked major roads in and around the popular Market, Berger and Mabushi areas.
The protest which started around 10am caused gridlock with motorists spending between one and two hours to navigate areas which ordinarily should not take them more than some minutes.
Eyewitnesses say trouble began when a member of the Ministerial Joint Task Force who were at the market to arrest unpainted taxies operating around Berger-Wuse route attempted to collect the key of the vehicle of one of the drivers who parked close to the traffic light junction by Wuse Market, but was resisted.
This led to the intervention of other members of the Task Force who not only invaded the area with about four vehicles but were shooting randomly in the air.
In the ensuing commotion, a taxi driver simply identified as Tony was allegedly beaten up by members of the Task Force who took him away in their vehicle as the situation degenerated.
No one is sure if the driver who was beaten into coma was dead. But the drivers took to the streets afterwards in protest, demanding that the task force should be disbanded.
The director of FCT Directorate Road Transport Services, Wadata Aliyu Bodinga who is the head of the task force, denied that a taxi driver was shot dead in the mayhem.
The FCTA’s Joint Ministerial Task Force is said to have arrested 378 unpainted taxes and motorcycles between 12 and 22 October 2017 in Abuja, while another 255 unpainted taxis and 123 illegal parked vehicles were confiscated within the city centre.