At least five persons were allegedly injured, while over 70 tricycles were damaged as tricycle (Keke Napep) operators clashed with factional group in Onitsha, Anambra State.
It was gathered that trouble started when Keke Drivers Welfare Association were protesting alleged extortion of members in a park, in Onitsha, and another rival group swooped on them.
The operators had, yesterday, blocked the ever-busy Onitsha/Owerri Road and some parts of Onitsha Main Market with their tricycles, to protest the battering of one of their members at Onitsha main market by suspected illegal revenue touts, for allegedly refusing to pay N1,000 daily levy.
The Vice Chairman of the Keke group, Ekene Ifediata, said: “The previous day (Monday), one of our members was beaten to coma by some touts at Onitsha Main Market, but, luckily, he was revived in the hospital. We thought he was dead. About four others were also injured because they refused to be extorted.
“They collect N1,000 from each member at Onitsha main market and another N1,000 at Owerri Road by another group, when the state government has banned all manner of revenue collections. Governor Willie Obiano and the Commissioner for Trade, Markets, Commerce and Wealth Creation, Dr. Christian Madubuko, should come to our rescue.
“They damaged over 70 of our tricycles, and each of the windscreen they damaged is about N10,000. If nothing is done now, they will continue to extort and assault us as they boast to have authority from the state government,” he said.