Edo Residents Block Roads – Protest Bad Roads in Ekpoma

Commuters were stranded for hours on Tuesday as protesters blocked the Ekpoma area in Edo State over the dilapidated state of the Benin-Auchi Highway which its dualisation commenced in 2013.

The protesters, who vowed to occupy the road until work commences, stressed that palliatives could no longer fix the road but a complete overhauling

The protest led to heavy-duty vehicles and other road users being stranded on the road while others found alternative routes to get to their destinations. The protest led to long queues stretching from the Ujoelen area of the highway to Ambrose Alli University’s main gate and beyond, towards Benin. A similar situation applied to the stretch towards Auchi where the queue extended beyond the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.

Speaking Monday evening, the Convener, Esan Liberation Movement, Prosper Iyere, who organised the blockade, said they would occupy the road until the government responded to their demands to fix it.

We have written several letters to all the members representing various constituencies in Edo Central and the ministers from the state and the governor on the state of the road. We gave them an ultimatum which expired last Friday.

“The state of the road has subjected us to untold hardship and we have decided that we will not leave until we see caterpillars, bulldozers and asphalt are brought here. We have also volunteered that we will render selfless service to help the contractors ensure that the work is completed,” he added.

The Federal Controller of Works and Housing, Edo State, Dr Razaq Aransiola, had said that unending litigations and citizens’ encroachment into government’s right of way had contributed to the delay in the completion of the dualisation of the Highway.

He said people had created artificial obstacles and used the same to claim damages from the state government to the extent that the ministry was considering creating a bypass out of Ekpoma because of the volume of requests for compensation from residents.

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