By Akpokona Omafuaire
Suspected thugs alleged to be members of NURTW/EMPLOYEES Udu branch yesterday Sunday threw caution to the wind at Ugbolokposo junction in Effurun, Delta State and attacked several mini bus drivers over resistance to pay increased daily ticket of N600.
Several mini buses were destroyed with many drivers sustaining injuries as the attackers descended on them with dangerous weapons including cutlasses, iron bars and bottles.
One of the injured drivers who gave his name as Alfred Wilson who spoke at the Agbarho Central hospital where he is undergoing treatment said he narrowly escaped death by divine grace.
According to him, “We use to pay N400 daily but it was was recently increased without any notice to N500, just today they have increased it to N600 for mini bus.
“We felt aggrieved and decided to get a lawyer to challenge the undue hardship placed on us in court. We were mobilizing our drivers so we can meet and plan when they came to attack us.
“The Vice Chairman, Joseph led the attack, immediately they got to Ugbolokposo junction where we parked, they starting injuring anyone at sight, we were running when they planked me and stabbed me with a bottle in my face.
“They tried bundling me to Udu after attacking me and I was bleeding, it took the efforts of my colleagues who came to my rescue to save me. My vehicle was damaged too.”
Corroborating the attack, another injured driver, Prince Ojike said that the suffering of drivers has gotten to the peak and we cannot tolerate it again. “I was also attacked and assaulted, they were over ten in numbers with weapons.”
Also Ikuku Godwin, another assaulted driver confirmed the attack. According to him, “We were surprised when they came to attack us because we were only planning to meet and it was not even in Udu area.
“Their intent was to injure us and destroy our vehicles for daring to plan to meet. We need government to intervene in this issue because it is causing so much hardship on us.”
As at press time, the matter was already being reported at the Ebrumede Police station.