Hundreds of travelers were on Tuesday stranded on the ever-busy Benin-Ore-Lagos Express Road road while thousands of protesters blocked the road over the frustrations over access to naira and fuel scarcity in the country.
It was gathered the protesters, mainly youths, converged at the overhead bridge as early as 8 am, blocking the road, and grounding social and economic activities in the commercial center.
The protesters who blocked the road and armed with placards, chanting” all we are saying, give us new notes, give us petrol”
The angry residents blocked the busy expressway, causing traffic and preventing vehicular movement for several hours
The youths lamented over the development in the country, accusing the government of introducing anti-people policies, saying Nigerians could no longer endure the hardship.
Commuters on their way to Lagos, those heading toward the Eastern part, and those hoping to do business in the area were held up on the road for several hours.
The protesting youths vowed not to vacate the road until the Federal Government find a lasting solution to the fuel and naira scarcity in the country.
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Transporters and drivers plying the road lamented the blockade while expressing dissatisfaction over the incident after struggling to buy fuel to travel to Lagos
One of the commuters, Abiola Ige, who was stranded in the traffic, said the whole country is feeling the heat, saying the government has been insensitive to the plight of the Nigerians.
He said “I have been here for the past three hours. They have blocked all the major roads. The crowd (protesters) are just too much on the road as they are chanting solidarity songs.
“The protest becomes necessary to send a message to the government that the masses are suffering
“Some hold sticks and use tyres to block the main road. Their grievance is over the scarcity of the naira and fuel in the country”,
The development is, however, less than 24 hours after the State Police Commissioner, Oyeyemi Oyediran warned against any action that could lead to a breach of peace in the state.
He said available intelligence revealed that certain unscrupulous elements have perfected plans to disrupt the peace the state’s residents enjoyed.
Oyeyemi disclosed that some elements have concluded plans to attack shut down and attack places of interest to loot mall and business centers, including bank and financial centers within the state
The Commissioner, who met with some critical stakeholders in the state, which include, Bank manager and NUPENG officials, said the meeting became necessary to address the issues of scarcity and inability to access cash at financial institutions and hike in fuel prices at various filling stations
Oyeyemi, who said that the Command is aware of plans to embark on protests in the state as a way of showcasing their grievances, urged the residents not to embark on any protest, saying
“relevant organizations are invited to the meeting to help shed more light on the current challenges faced by the people in the state.
Some Bank managers who were present at the meeting gave an insight into what led to the scarcity of cash, while the NUPENG official also addressed stakeholders on the fuel shortage and scarcity
The CP, however, urged the concerned citizens not to embark on any form of protest as it is not healthy, considering the current security situation of the state, for it not to be hijacked by hoodlums or used as a means to perpetrate other heinous crimes in the state.
The meeting was attended by representatives of NANS/SUGs, Bank Managers, NUPENG, Akure youth coalition, DPR, Influencers/Activists in the state.