Anambra State commissioner for Transport, Dr Ifeanyi Ejikeme has denied that emblem agents employed by the state ministry were responsible for the death of a driver with the Lord’s Chosen Ministry, over payment for some emblems.
It would be recalled that last week, a driver with the above mentioned church whose name was not immediately ascertained had died at Onitsha after agents of the ministry of transport halted him and tried to take away his car key as a way to force him to procure vehicle emblem being sold by them.
Ejikeme in a press release signed on his behalf by the head, media and publicity of the ministry, Stanley Onunkwor said that the driver was not mowed to death as was reported by the media, rather he slumped and died while struggling to regain possession of his car keys which the agents were about to confiscate.
The release reads in part, “the ministry does not want to join issues with those peddling the rumour that the driver was moped to death by the agents but it is necessary to set the records straight. The late driver’s death resulted after he struggled with the agents over his car keys and the steering.
“The driver from what we have was hypertensive, and the medical doctor attached to Toronto Hospital confirmed so. He certified that the late driver was hypertensive, and that escalated his demise.”
Ejikeme said that the government has concluded plans to organize training and re-training for the emblem agents in the state in order to instill discipline and productivity in them to discharge their duties effectively.
The ministry advised the public not to see the agents as hoodlums who are out to cause a breakdown of law and order, but people used by the government to ensure prompt payment of taxes by citizens within the first quarter of the year.
Recall that clashes between these agents and commercial and company drivers and even private ones has remained a reoccurring issue, with members of the public condemning the approach of the agents.
Some citizens have also expressed worry at the vigorous drive for revenue by the state government, which has driven them to using people described as touts to harass and extort the members of the public.