The irate drivers blocked the road intersection between Great Soppo and Bakweri Town, popularly referred to as the former GCE Board Junction.
The protesters said their annoyance stems from the fact that one of their colleagues was physically assaulted by a police officer. The driver is reported to have refused to give a FCFA 500 bribe to the officer arguing that his documents were complete and there was no reason for him to grease the palms of the law enforcement officer. It is this resistance that caused the police officer to slap the driver.
Abba Abdouraman, Divisional Officer for Buea Subdivision zoomed to the scene accompanied by senior security officials in the region. The administrator promised that the assaulted driver will be taken care of in the hospital, while the erring officers in question will face administrative action.
The Divisional Officer promised to take measures, along with his collaborators, to handle complaints of harassment and bribe-taking by men in uniform. He went on to apologize to the drivers and urged them to write a formal complaint and submit to his office so he can transmit the same to his hierarchy.
It is alleged that men in uniform no longer bother about car documents, and are more interested in extorting money from the drivers. As a result, most drivers in the restive Northwest and Southwest Regions do not go for their car documents anymore.
The extortion by the military over drivers has forced drivers who ply the streets to engage in over-loading to make up for the expenses occasioned by the corrupt tendencies of some police, gendarme, and military officers. They say, they are forced to carry five passengers in a taxi without the military bringing them to order, even when physical distancing is being advanced as a way to stifle the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.