PUNCH Metro reports that the indigenes of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State who protested against the dilapidated Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo Road left commuters and vehicles stranded on Friday.
The Okpella to Okenne end of the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja highway, serving vehicles going to Abuja is in a bad state and causing traffic diversion to Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo Road, which has become bad. The sorry state of the roads caused the protest.
The residents in communities along Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo blocked the road complaining that the feeder roads constructed by the state government were not built for heavy duty vehicles plying and destroying them.
The protesting youths also faulted allegations that some persons compromised by allowing heavy vehicles to pass through the communities.
A community leader in Igarra, Mr Steve Dania, said, “We are all witnesses to the hardship we have been going through because of the diversion of vehicles to our township roads which are giving way because they were not built for the kind of vehicles plying them and we can no longer tolerate this. The other day, a fuel tanker fell on the road and people were scooping fuel. We know how many years we suffered before Adams Oshiomhole, as the governor, fixed the Igarra-Ososo road.
“We know what it took us before a former Chief of Staff to Governor Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele, was able to influence the fixing of our feeder roads and now trucks are destroying them. We will not accept that and we want the Federal Government to fix the federal roads around us so that the trucks can use them.”
One of the commuters caught in traffic, Chinonso Adams, said he had been on the road since Thursday, travelling from Abuja to the East.
He said, “The roads are bad and now we are held in diversion. I will not blame the youth because they have to protect what they have. I blame the Federal Government that has failed to fix our roads.’’