Director Security Salute Nigerian Initiative, Comrade Salihu Dantata. Photo: Zainab Khalil
Some Stakeholders in the traffic sector have denied extortion allegations levelled against the FCT Ministerial Joint Task Force by taxi drivers.
The Director, Security Salute Nigeria Initiative, Comrade Salihu Dantata made this known at a news briefing in Abuja.
Comrade Dantata said the essence of initiating the Ministerial Joint Task Force was to ensure there was strict observance of traffic laws by motorists and to punish offenders.
He emphasised that most taxi drivers flout some of these laws by obstructing major roads and junctions in order to load their vehicles with passengers.
“Some of the people that constitute menace at junctions, on bridges and other areas are taxi drivers,” Comrade Dantata insisted.
“You know they have so many unions. In Area 1, if you go under the bridge from 6pm you cannot have thorough fare as they pack their vehicles indiscriminately.
It is only the ministerial joint task force that, when they are alerted during their routine check and enforcement, come and clear them.”
Head of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) task team, Mallam Adamu Maiwada said a mobile court has been setup to prosecute offenders and individuals impersonating the task force, which he said is part of measures to curb the menace.
“We normally go after them and arrest them before the mobile courts,” he said.
“The ministerial task force goes after all this fake task forces; and they have given us two magistrates, who, whenever we arrest them [the offenders], they will be charged immediately to court.”
The FCT Ministerial Task Force is a collaborative effort of traffic officers, defence officers and individual volunteers to ensure safety on the road and curb highway crimes.
Reporting by Zainab Khalil; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor