From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
In Edo State, combined security operatives were at the National Museum, Benin, the venue of the takeoff point of the June 12 protest, to forestall possible break down of law and order.
It was observed that the security personnel were more than the number of the June 12 protesters.
The protesters brandished placards of various inscriptions that read thus “Respect human rights, the economy is in shambles, 22 years after, we are back on the streets fighting for democracy, #Insecurity, #Statepolicing, stop capitalism”.
The activities of the protesters caused a huge traffic jam at major streets of Benin City as they marched peacefully to the state Government House where they were received by the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.
Speaking at the Government House, President, Faculty of Peace Organisation, Kelly Osunbor Omokaro, said 22 years down the line, the freedom of speech that has been the hallmark of democracy, has been muzzled, adding that Nigerians were freer to express themselves during the military era than when they claimed to have been practising democracy.
Narrowing their worries to the state of Edo State, he said the composition of the State House of Assembly leaves much to be so desired and that the deputy governor must rise to save the situation.
Omokaro also said since the end of the #EndSARS panel and recommendations made, the state government is yet to implement any.
Also speaking, Abraham Oviawe, Esq., urged the government to improve the security situation of the state, especially on the major highways.
On his part, President, One Love Foundation, Patrick Eholor, urged the government to push for state police to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens of the state.
Responding, the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, said the 14 elected lawmakers of the House of Assembly decided to go with their godfather despite his plea that they should make themselves available for the inauguration.
He said when the House of Assembly waited patiently for their return, they failed to show up and their seats were declared vacant by the Speaker of the House.
Shaibu said that the matter is still in court.
The deputy governor who blamed godfatherism as the bane of democracy in the country later joined in the peaceful protest before retreating to his office.