Truck drivers take drugs because of extortion, dehumanisation, AMATO says. 

Truck drivers take drugs because of extortion, dehumanisation, AMATO says. 


The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has blamed indiscriminate drug intake by truck drivers on oppression and extortion of the drivers by different security agencies.
AMATO which did not mention the extortionist, added that dehumanisation by hoodlums and some security agencies are responsible for why most of the maritime truck drivers resort to drug intake.
Mohammed Sani, AMATO Secratary who represented the truck owners at the ongoing Town Hall Meeting on Evolving Drug-Free Port, organised by Journal Ng in Apapa, Lagos.
Other factors outlined by the truck owners group include; unjust hijacking of trucks by road traffic enforcement agencies, prolonged waiting on the queue for several days without eating well, taking bath, inadequate sleep at night to watch against container burglars and truck part thieves, scorching sun, heat from truck engine, among others.
The group also blamed the inability of authorities to stop or control the indiscriminate selling of alcohol and drug by vendors in the port environment
He said it was encouraging the abuse of drug and consumption of alcohol to the detriment of safety, public peace, security of lives and property in the port environment.
“Our port access roads at night cannot be distinguished from night clubs due to the activities of drug and alcohol vendors.
He however maintained that he was not justifying the consumption of drugs by truck drivers but was to call the attention of government agencies to the development that lead to abuse of drugs by drives in order to curtail it.
“Note that he foregoing analysis is not in anyway supporting or justifying the use of drugs or alcohol by drivers, but rather is trying to explain the circumstances surrounding the consumption of drug and alcohol by drivers or other individuals in the port environment.
“Furthermore, it is in order to enable authorities and relevant stakeholders to come up with holistic ideas and solutions on how best the working environment can be more friendly and conducive so as to discourage either drivers and other individuals from drug intake and also on how best the activities of drug and alcohol vendors in the port environment can be stopped or regulated.
“In conclusion, while we are working to make the ports environment a drug free environment, we should at the same time work towards removing the cause of drug intakes as necessity in response to hostile forces around the Ports Environments.”

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