Angry residents of Edo State on Tuesday shutdown the Benin-Sapele highway for several hours to send a wake-up call to concerned authorities to repair the deplorable road network, which is a gateway between Edo and Delta States and East West roads.
Business activities around the area were reportedly brought to a standstill while Delta-bound travellers on the road as well as pedestrians including school children who were trapped in the melee, were made to use alternative routes that also convulsed in a traffic snarl, to get to their destination.
But the swift intervention of combined team of security personnel that were drafted to the area to maintain law and order, saved the day.
The youths led by the President of One Love Foundation, Patriot Patrick Eholor in their numbers brandished placards such as ‘Buhari wake up Nigerians are suffering’, ‘Our doctors now attend to more accident victims because Fashola has failed’, ‘One Love Foundation demands good governance’, ‘Road construction should not be discussed in 21st Century’, ‘The Army has died on this road’.
The protesters also danced to some popular Nigerian Afro beat music tunes that lashed out at the breathtaking hypocrisy of the actors in both federal and Edo State government for not building the road which has become a nightmare to them.
Addressing newsmen on Sapele road by Reynolds Construction (RCC) junction in Ikpoba-Okha-Okha Local Government Area of the State where the protesters converged on, Patriot Patrick Eholor, charged President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and relevants agencies of government including the State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to end the carnage on the road, adding that ‘Road construction ought not to be a matter for discussion in 21st Century’ in a Country that prides itself as the giant of Africa.
Eholor who vowed to sustain the peaceful protest until the road is fixed, accused Fashola of reneging on the promises he made on behalf of the All Progressives Congress before the 2015 general elections that brought President Muhammadu.
“He (Fashola) has abysmally failed. From being the minister of power, minister Works, yet the songs of lamentations over the government inadequacies haven’t come to an end. And I am sure that Babatunde Fashola has been travelling either with a chopper or an aeroplane with his family not to know what challenges road users face daily.
According to Eholor, “The road has become a deathtrap for road users and hideouts for armed robbers especially at night.
“We had a solider, and children died on this road. The women can no linger take their goods and farm produce to their various destinations. It has become a speck for herdsmen.
“Buhari has had its own fair share. We (Nigerians) have never had it worse since the history of this Country. However, people have a responsibility and obligation to demand for good governance and where it is absent or obvious for actors in government to perform, they should resign.
The spokesman also expressed deep disappointment for Godwin Obaseki-led administration for lacking the willpower to match words with action and provide remedial solution on the federal road.
“I am disappointed at the behaviour of Mr. Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State. Shame on all of them including the State House of Assembly for lacking empathy to do the needful.
“In the first instance, this is the Governor’s State. The Governor is supposed to prevail on the federal Government to repair the road”.
“Until they come and address the issues, we are not going anywhere…Enough is enough”, Eholor stressed.