Hundreds of angry residents of Evbuotubu, in Egor local government area of Edo State, yesterday threatened to prevent political parties from coming to campaign in the community over what they described as the deplorable state of infrastructure in their areas.
The angry youths had early as 8:00am, set up bonfire at strategic locations leading to the Evbuotubu Market armed with placards bearing various inscriptions which reads: “No road, no school”; “No road, no election”; “Obaseki fulfill your campaign promise”; and “Are we no longer part of Edo State?” among others. They also chanted anti-government slogans.
Evbuotubu, is a densely populated suburb and is about 10 minutes drive to Benin City, the state capital.
The peaceful protest however paralysed commercial and vehicular movement for several hours as the angry youths marched through the major road leading to the Ekenwa road axis of the city.
A landlord in the community, Mr Abdulfatai Giwa Osagie who spoke for the protesters lamented that the political class has taken the people for granted adding that there is nothing on ground to show for all their support for political parties after winning elections.
He said, “You can see the crowd today. These are all inhabitants of Evbuotubu, made up of landlords, tenants, and keke riders, market women who came out to register their grievances in a peaceful manner. We are pleading to Edo State government, members of the state and national assembly to come to our aid.
“Evbuotubu has been cut off. We are using this opportunity to appeal to them; we don’t deserve this kind of neglect. What we are saying today is that if this road is not fixed there will be no campaign or election here.
When we are saying no election it means that we won’t allow any political party to come here and campaign be it APC, PDP or APGA.”
Another resident and a trader, Mrs Amen Augusta Ogbomo, said she has being trading at the Evbotubu market for over 25 years and noted that in the last 12 years the road has broken down completely without help from government.
But reacting, the Edo State government said while it recognised the right and freedom of all Edo people and residents to express their views, it was unacceptable to resort to violence and destruction of private and government property under any guise.
A statement signed by the special adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, yesterday, noted that the state government, through its various functionaries at different fora, has acknowledged the state of the roads in the area and has approved the roads for reconstruction.
“Specifically, the Evbuotubu road leads to the Benin River Port which has been scheduled for dualisation to accommodate the heavy vehicular traffic to and from the seaport on completion.
“Only recently, the state government awarded contract for the construction of Ugbor-Amagba road, to bring succour to people in the area, kick-starting a series of award of road reconstruction projects.
“Few days later, the state government, awarded contracts for the reconstruction of the over 25-kilometer roads from Saint Saviour (4.4kilometer) through Oba Community-Obazagbon Community-Obadoloivbiyeyi Community to Idogbo/Agbor Road Bypass (10.92 kilometer), both valued at N3.55billion; and the popular PZ- Ehioghae-Okabere-Oka Market road, linking Sapele road and Upper Sokponba road (10.78 Kilometres), valued at N1.9billion,” the statement said.
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