From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Angry youths have attacked the patrol team of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV), beating one officer to coma.
The victim, Gift Amadi, who was unlucky to have been caught while his colleagues fled for safety was descended on by the mob who attacked him with working tools and other dangerous weapon as the team were doing traffic control duty.
It was gathered that the mob was enraged by the TIMA-RIV officials when the patrol team attempted to arrest the defaulting driver of an unpainted commercial taxi at Godspower Ake Road in Port Harcourt.
According to Gift Egboh, TIMA-RIV Head of Research, Media and Public Partnership, “the victim became unconscious due to the assault and was taken to TIMA-RIV’s sick-bay and later to the Military Hospital for urgent medical attention.
“These are officers in- charge of Zone 6 area of Port Harcourt and they were carrying out their lawful duties when they sighted an unpainted Jetta, a commercial taxi which contravened the law. Efforts to arrest the offender led to his abnormal behaviour,” he said.
Explaining further, the agency’s spokesman said: “He (driver) stepped down from his car and started rolling himself on the floor shouting and raising false alarm that made the youths in the area to attack the officers.”
Egboh said it was against the law of TIMA-RIV to drive unpainted commercial bus or taxi in the city of Port Harcourt, adding that article 2 and 13 of the law No.6 2009 state that: “All commercial vehicles operating in the state especially in the city of Port Harcourt must be painted in the state approved colour of light blue and white.”
Egboh also called on Rivers State Government to assist with the security of TMIMA-RIV officials while on duty by approving armed security to be attached to the patrol teams.