Taxi drivers in Buea have met Monday to lay out a series of complaints to submitted to the Prime Minister Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute who begins the second lap of his peace consultative talks Tuesday.
The ghost town observed in the South West Regional Capital provided an occasion for the different trade unions to come together and plan how they will address the state emissary .
Gathered at the esplanade of the Molyko Omnisport stadium, they have resolved to tell the Head of Government about harassments and intimidation on them by security officers.
Speaking to the press, they complained that some police and Gendarmes have used the crisis to met out disproportionate force on them.
« Can you imagine that every sunday, they will stop us and seize our car keys, then order us to collect our vehicles on Monday. How can we work with increased insecurity during ghost town? » Ebot questioned.
In addition to that, they accuse security elements of refusing to pay their fares , when they carry them under the pretext that they are state agents.
Another biting problem plaguing the drivers is what they have called « constant extortion » which accompanies the daily harassments. One of them who opted for anonymity revealed that « Despite having our car documents intact , they still force us to settle them 500 or 1000 FCFA. It is worst when you are on the wrong side of the law. Without 25000 FCFA, they won’t even listen to you. »
Recurrent ghost towns and lock downs have worsened their situation. They told reporters that the recent 10 day lock down ended with huge economic setbacks still weighing on them till date.
As the Prime Minister embarks on the South West lap of his peace consultative talks, these drivers say they will put these issues and many more to him with the hope that concrete solutions will follow to ease their worries.
By Nsoesie Peter
Mimi Mefo Info