Protesters block Benin roads over fuel price hike, Obaseki promises solution in 24 hours
Protesters, made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other residents of Edo State, including youths, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest over hike in pump price of fuel.
They barricaded strategic locations within the metropolis and marched through Sapele Road to Ring Road, causing gridlock.
They warned shop owners not to open for businesses, today, to avoid facing the wrath of the activists.
Former Coordinator General, Edo State Civil Society Organisation (EDOSCO), Omobude Agho, lamented that citizens have been suffering untold hardship in the midst of affluence.
He noted that Nigerians could no longer endure hardship caused by hike in prices of petrol, describing it as anti-people.
“Fuel has become N700 and minimum wage is still N30,000. Bag of rice is over N50,000 and the minimum wage is still N30,000. You cannot move from one point to another in the city due to the fuel price hike even as the minimum wage remains the same,” he lamented.
He warned that civil society organisations in the state would, henceforth, take the battle to those sabotaging the nation’s economy and causing hardship on Nigerians.
He said: “Our economy saboteurs are in high and low places, we will fight them. Before, we say we will resist them but now, we will fight them.
“Anywhere you find black marketers, pursue them, and don’t pity them that they are poor. Anybody that is wicked, whether poor or rich, is wicked.
“Anywhere we catch black marketers, we will seize the fuel, and if we don’t have anything to do with the fuel, throw them away. So, when those at the black market don’t have the fuel, the filling stations will be forced to sell at the fixed price.
He said the CSO will begin to picket filling stations selling above Federal Government approved price.
REACTING to the protest, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said his government has studied the grievances expressed by the protesters as stated in the letter addressed to him on the issue.
Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media Projects, in a statement, quoted the state government as telling the protesters: “The government acknowledges the plight of Edo people, who have had to endure grueling experiences accessing petroleum products and the exorbitant prices the product is sold for in the state in the last few days.
“On account of that, the government is undertaking the following actions within the next 24 hours: To set up a monitoring committee made up of actors in the private sector, civil society organisations and government, who will monitor the distribution and pricing of the product in order to ensure that shylock marketers do not take advantage of the situation to rip Edo citizens off; and schedule a meeting with all stakeholders in the product distribution value chain to deliberate on the issues responsible for distribution hurdles and price hike and find lasting solutions to the matters arising.”