Gov Matawalle suspends ZAROTA officials for alleged extortion of motorists

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From Maiharaji Altine Gusau

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has suspended the management of the Zamfara Roads Traffic Agency (ZAROTA).

This followed series of complaints of extortion by members of the public against the officials of the agency.

In a statement, the Permanent Secretary Cabinet Affairs,  Alhaji Yakubu Haidara said, “the suspension followed the directive from Governor Bello Mohammed to that effect”.

According the statement the development was as as a result of increasing number of complaints by members of the Public on the conduct of the officials of ZAROTA.

He said the activities of the agency would be overseen by joint taskforce of the police, Civil Defence Corps, VIO and FRSC.

Alhaji Haidara said, “The Governor has also directed for setting up of a committee to review the conduct of the officials of ZAROTA”.

He advised the people of the state to continue to be law-abiding and conduct themselves according to law.

Meanwhile, over 200 commercial drivers blocked Gusau-Zaria road at the early hours of Thursday protesting against what they called “illegal extortion” by the officials of Zamfara Road Traffic Agency ZAROTA.

The protest which began by 7:00am and lasted for about two hours brought socioeconomic activities of the people of the state to a halt.

Students and passengers were left stranded as they could not pass through the road.

Speaking to journalists during the protest, the Chairman, Zamfara State Truck Drivers Association, Alhaji Lawali Danda said, “beside enforcing heavy tax on our members, ZAROTA officials also subjected them to series of maltreatment and dehumanization.

He said “ZAROTA charges up to N50,000 from a driver and that alone discouraged many truck drivers from coming to the state”.

Danda said they have lodged several complaints to the state House of Assembly, seeking for the intervention of the House but nothing was done.

He appealed to Governor Matawalle to call ZAROTA chairman to order before things went out of control, lamenting that, “if care is not taken, the chairman will create disaffection between the Governor and the people of the state”.

Recall that, the chairman of the ZAROTA, was recently seen in a video clip molesting an indigene of the state for criticizing Governor Matawalle.

Similarly, another audio clip also went viral where the ZAROTA chairman was heard discussing an issue of less importance with the Governor.

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