The ever-busy Benin-Lagos highway has been shut down by members of the Flicthers Association, Ondo State chapter over alleged extortion and molestation by the Ogun State Government.
Members of the association in their hundreds stormed and blocked the Ajibandele end of the highway to protest the alleged hardship meted on them by the Ogun State through its revenue officials stationed at Ayoto.
With motorists and travellers stranded at Ajibandele in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, the flitchers also complained of being subjected to illegal ticketing at Ijebu-Ode the revenue officials in Ogun State.
The protesters were armed with placards reading “Enough of this harassment by Ogun State tax collectors,” “Stop illegal Ticketing Atoyo,” “Stop hijacking our trucks, “Stop illegal ticketing on the highway,” Stop illegal ticketing at Ijebu-Ode under bridge among others.
While giving the Ogun State Government 7 days ultimatum to call its officials to order, the Chairman of the group, Mayegun Oloruntobi said the “unlawful act and inhuman treatment” is a deliberate act targeting his members.
He added that with the situation going on for about four years, they have been receiving ticketing and fines ranging from N50,000 to N2 million as against the official amount of N7,000.
According to him, the officials in Ogun State wants to push them out of business.
On his part, the secretary of the association, Aro Sunday disclosed that despite getting their logs from Ondo State, the Ondo State Government has never imposed heavy fines on them but has been using the federal highway to extort them.
He, however, pleaded with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to come to their rescue as most of the members can no longer cope with the situation.