The tricycle operators union in Bayelsa State Tuesday protested the killing of one of its members, identified as Mike by Tricycle Task Force working for the Bayelsa State Ministry of Transportation.The protesters, who marched round the major streets in Yenagoa, the state capital, also moved to the state police command to register their grievances and called for justice for the deceased, who they say was on his legitimate business.
They said that harassment, intimidation, and extortion by the members of the task force on tricycle operators have become too rampant in Bayelsa State, urging the security agencies to intervene to forestall more deaths.
The police authorities in the state who confirmed the incident said its operatives have already arrested two members of the task force including one Emomotimi Levi Ogbe and One Israel Monday over the death of the tricycle operator.
The police spokesman in a statement said that preliminary findings reveal that the suspects while on official duty, for revenue collection, on 14 September 2020, contravened a tricycle with MOT NO. 0617, at Imiringi road, Yenagoa, for failure to obtain a unified sticker.
He said “Consequently, the tricyclist went to the task force office at Swali, Yenagoa, and thereafter started spitting out some substances, slumped, and became unconscious.
“The victim was rushed to the hospital for treatment where he eventually died.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli fsi, addressed the protesters and assured them of a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of their colleague,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Transportation, Mrs Grace Ayakpo Ekiotenne has called for calm saying the government will address the issue amicably.