John Adams Minna
For the second time in one week, protesting youths in Niger state have blocked the busy Minna-Suleja highway to continue their protests, insisting this time around that until their key four points demands are met, they will not leave the road.
The placard carrying youths, numbering well over 1,000 took to the highway as early as 7:00am and blocked the entry city gate to Minna, the state capital.
All travelers to and from the Minna were seen stranded, looking helplessly as the protesters gathered in their numbers with policemen watching from distance.
Last week when the youth took to the street, they were demanding an end to the poor supply of electricity by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Banditry activities in the state and bad state of federal roads across the state.
But the youths have increased their demands to includes end to bad governance and corruption in high places.
Also like last week, the some of the placards have as their major captions #Save Niger State” with riders such as “End banditry”, “End bad roads” “End “AEDC”.,” End Insecurity Now””End rape” “End Bokoharam” and End bad governance and corruption.
The protesters were being led by the Chairman Youths Council of Nigeria (NYC), Niger state chapter, Comrade Bashir Bello, the Chairman Northern Youths Coalition Group, Comrade Mohammed Mohammed and Convener Nigeria Youths Lead, Comrade Estu Mohammed
The protesters said they have kept quiet for too long over what they called “decaying system” at all levels and vowed not to leave the road until their demands are met unconditionally.
On the epileptic power supply to the state, the youths said the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has subjected the entire People of the state to an untold hardship under unsubstantiated excuses that consumers are not paying bills.
“it is unfortunate that despite the contributions being made by Niger State to the federal government, particularly the four hydro power dams situated in the state, the presence of the federal government has not been felt in our state.
“Power supply has been erratic, thereby slowing down economic growth in Niger State as youths who are into entrepreneurship cannot sustain their businesses”, one of the leaders, Mohammed Mohammed said while addressing the protesters.
He therefore reiterated their earlier warning that if action is not taken Youths in the state will shut the three dams and block articulated vehicles from all federal roads in the state.
They also said that corruption in the system has tripled in recent time, and this is largely responsible to the hardship in the country, hence the increasing level of insecurity all over the country.