Edo community protests against insecurity along Benin-Auchi highway
• Gov promises better deal, restates citizens’ role in MEGA agenda
Protesters blocked the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja road in Edo State, yesterday, over insecurity occasioned by herdsmen’s attacks, killings and abductions, forcing long vehicular queues on both sides of the highway.
The action, the second within a month, left commuters stranded for several hours, just as The Guardian learnt that the Urokuosa Community in Uhunmwode Council, also staged a protest after herdsmen attacked a vehicle, injuring several passengers.
While lamenting the daily abductions of travellers on the road, they said a driver of one the popular transport companies was killed last week.
They threatened not to vacate the road until Governor Godwin Obaseki or the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, came to the scene to address their concerns.
BESIDES, Governor Obaseki pledged to sustain collaboration with the military, the Nigeria Police Force, the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network and other security outfits to tackle insecurity on the Benin-Auchi expressway.
He gave the assurance when the Student Union Government (SUG), of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, visited him at the Government House, Benin City.
Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff (COS), Osaigbovo Iyoha, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the security of life and property of Edo people, noting that measures had been put in place to enhance security in the axis and other parts of the state.
“Insecurity on the highway is not peculiar to Edo State. We all know about the insecurity going on in the country, but the government has been proactive by collaborating with the local vigilante and other security agencies to boost security along the Uhunmwonde and Obagie axis. Soon, it will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Reassuring on efforts to improve the welfare of students of the institution, Obaseki noted, “We will be looking at Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), and Public Private Partnerships (PPP); all of these options are on our table. We will also liaise with other international bodies like Shelter Africa to see if they can do something for the school.”
Earlier, President of the Union, Comrade Osamagbe Eghobamien, who lamented the level of insecurity on the Benin-Auchi Road, urged the state government to expedite actions in ensuring the safety of commuters on the axis.
MEANWHILE, the State government has canvassed increased citizens’ participation in governance and decision-making, and sought the people’s support to realise the Governor Obaseki’s Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) agenda.
Iyoha, who is an alumnus of the Immaculate Conception College Old Boys Association (ICCOBA), gave the charge when members of the association visited the Government House, Benin City.