The Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, met with hundreds of motorists who were held by soldiers at the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.
According to reports, the travellers were stranded because security officials manning the highway locked it down.
The said officials were accused by the governor of collecting bribes of N1000 from travellers without national identity cards.
The governor made the accusation on Monday afternoon when he visited the highway. Zulum was said to have met hundreds of vehicles queued up on both sides of the road when he approached the Maiduguri entrance checkpoint, located near the Borno State University.
The governor noted, “This is unacceptable. How can you subject people to this kind of torture all in the name of National ID card? And you are all here collecting N500 and N1000 from poor travellers who don’t have national ID card.”
He continued, “No this is not right. The federal government has not created an enabling environment for our people to get their national ID cards and you are here collecting N500 and N1000 as a fine for not having what the federal government has not provided for all.”
He described it as extortion and ordered the security personnel to open the gates on both sides to allow all travellers to move.
Some of the travellers and motorists lamented the ordeal, with a bus driver stating: “I left Damaturu since 9 a.m. and I arrive here at about 11 a.m. But here I am being held till 3 p.m."
The Theatre Commander of the war against Boko Haram, General Olusegun Adeniyi, upon arrival at the scene of the traffic, said it was caused by “an attack that happened earlier in the day.”