There was pandemonium on Saturday at the Ariport Junction, Omuagwa Community, Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State, following the shooting of a trailer driver by a yet-to-be-identified soldier.
The incident reportedly happened at an Army Checkpoint along Port Harcourt-Airport-Owerri Road, Omagwa, at about 9pm on Friday.
It was learnt that the soldier demanded N200, which tanker drivers usually paid at the checkpoint, but the driver refused to pay the money.
The angry soldier was said to have shot the driver, an action that led to a heavy protest.
Tanker drivers trooped out on Saturday to block the road including the busy the including Airport-Obiri Ikwerre Road, causing untold hardship to commuters.
The soldiers accused of extorting motorists at the checkpoint were said ronjave fled the area.
The Chairman of Ikwerre LGA, Samuel Nwanosike, who confirmed the development, said the victim had been rushed to a health facility for treatment.
Nwanosike noted that the council authority intervened in the matter and reopened the road earlier blocked by the protesting tanker drivers.
He said: “We had a development last night where security operatives had issues with tanker drivers in the state. The Association of Tanker drivers shut down the road to commuters.
“To the glory of God the tanker driver that was attacked. We have taken him to the hospital and he is receiving treatment. The local government is taking care of that. We have spoken with the association, the road has been opened.
“What we are saying is that the perpetrators of this act must be brought to book. The unknown military man must be fetched. We know that deployment was made in that checkpoint and they will produce this officer that carried out this act. Security is provided to ensure protection of lives and property and not to cause havoc.
“We are saying that no security operatives should collect money from commercial drivers. Ikwerre local government is the only local government that does not have task- force collecting money from motorists. And we are saying that we will not accept the drivers collecting money again. We will set up taskforce to that effect.”
The Spokeman of 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, Charles Ekeocha, said he was not aware of the development, but promised to find out from troops deployed in the area.