One killed as bus drivers, Civil Defence clash in Enugu

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One person has been confirmed dead, a commuter bus burnt in the recent clash involving bus drivers and members of the Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the New Market area of Enugu.
The death of a passenger in the burnt bus which fell into a dish as the driver tried to escape from the Civil Defense led to massive protest which crippled economic activities in Enugu last Thursday.
But the NSCDC has blamed the abduction of its officer by the fleeing bus driver as the cause of the unrest in New Market road, just as he conformed the death of the passenger.
The Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Steve Amoga, n a media chat in Enugu suggested that the protest which followed the incident was stage managed even as placards started dotting the roads within few minutes of the incident.
He noted that the NSCDC officials were duly and officially mandated to decongest the New Market Road and its adjoining roads as well as ensure that traders trade in the market and not on the roads.
According to him, there was no gun shot fired on the commercial bus involved in the accident as claimed by the protesters.
“We have a directive from the state government that nobody should pick passengers along that road and its adjoining roads as well as keep the traders in the market.
“So, when the commercial bus driver stopped to pick passenger on the road, our operative on official duty accosted him; while telling him that it was wrong for him to do that.
“As our man entered the bus, bus driver zoomed off with him. So, other officers on ground chased after him; in the process, the bus fell into a ditch and caught fire.
“We only chased after the commercial bus with three passengers and a driver because he abducted our official and drove off with him,’’ he said.
The commandant, however, expressed regret that one of the passengers dead in the inferno that caught up with the vehicle while he was trapped; while the bus driver jumped out of the vehicle and made for his heel before the vehicle fell in a ditch.
He noted that the two other passengers in the incident and the official of the corps had been taken to hospital and they are currently under police custody.
“We are saddened for the loss of a life in the whole unfortunate incident, which was caused by the reckless bus driver, whom the police had already begun a manhunt on,’’ he said.
According to him; we are civil defence, we have always remain civil and civilian in our operations anywhere we are.
“The command has continued to ensure friendly posture with members of the public and made our operations seamless with human face,’’ he added.

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