Irked by ‘extortionist’ cops, Lonyangapuo storms roadblock, frees boda boda rider

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West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo on Wednesday removed police roadblocks mounted by traffic police on the Kitale-Lodwar highway.

The angry county boss threw away barriers at Chepareria town saying the roadblocks are illegal. He said traffic officers use them to harass motorists.

Traffic police officers countrywide have instructions to enforce Michuki rules as revived on November 12.

In one of the roadblocks, the governor secured the release of a motorbike rider who was arrested while transporting onions from Ortum.

“This is inhumane. The rider has all required licences. Why handcuff a person transporting onions on his motorcycle? Onions are not illegal goods,” Lonyangapuo said.

“We shall not allow police officers to erect illegal roadblocks to harass our people,” he said after ordering police to release the rider.

Leonard Powon after he was set free said: “I was arrested because I had no money to pay the police before passing the roadblock.”

Lonyangapuo warned  police officers in the county against taking advantage of the Michuki rules to frustrate road users.

He said police have mounted about 20 roadblocks in the county and are collecting hundreds of shillings from motorcycle riders.

“I am personally going to remove them and remain only with the ones at Marich pass and Tartar junction,” the governor said.

He castigated police commanders in the region for having failed to protect residents in the face of invasion by cattle rustlers.

“We need these officers in Apuke, Chesegon, and along Pokot South-Marakwet border where cases of cattle rustling have reemerged,” Lonyangauo said.

The county boss said harassing the riders, most of them being reformed warriors, will be counterproductive.

He further said Administration Police officers should not be deployed to man roadblocks since most of them don’t know traffic rules.

SOURCE: the-star.co.ke

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