Commercial activities were grounded in Onitsha, Anambra State as tricycle operators protested alleged extortion and brutality in the hands of touts and revenue collectors.

The group, known as Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, also blocked major roads in the city on Saturday.

The protest also followed the alleged multiple stabbing of a tricycle operator on the Awka road by a revenue collector.

The group lamented that their sufferings in the hands of the touts were becoming unbearable and called on the state government to come to their rescue by deploying security personnel to the area.

The protest started about 12.30pm and lasted several hours while they blocked the Main Market road, Awka Road, New Cemetary Road, Old Cemetary Road, Old Enugu Road, and other exits and entry points into Onitsha.

Addressing journalists, the spokesman for the group, Mr David Emmanuel, said that they had taken enough humiliation from both legal and illegal revenue collectors in the state.

He added that they pay between N4,500 N8,000 to the revenue collectors apart from the N350 daily dues they pay to the Anambra State Government

Emmanuel lamented that while they had nothing to show for their daily efforts, the revenue collectors and thugs smiled home with huge sums of money.

He said, “We wondered why even after such money is collected from us, they beat and wound us, you dare not question their identity. Several complaints we made to the Anambra State Ministry of Transport did not yield any result.

“We pay money to a group, before you move an inch, another group will stop you and if you question them, they would start beating you, using all types of weapons against you, that is one of the causes of today’s protest, they have killed and given life threatening injuries to our members just because we want to know who we are giving our money.

“We give money to people we don’t know who they are working for, all they know is for you to give them money, that is not covered by receipt, and some operate with receipts we do not know their source.”