From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Protesters yesterday blocked the Benin-Auchi-Lokoja road over worsening insecurity in the route.
Their action led to a gridlock that left hundreds of commuters stuck in traffic for hours on both sides of the highway.
It would be the second time in less than a month that communities on the route would stage a protest to draw attention to the menace of bandits’ attacks, kidnappings and killings in the road.
It was learnt that yesterday’s protest by members of Urokuosa community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area was triggered after suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked a Toyota Sienna bus and injured many passengers on Wednesday.
The protesters who reeled out data of daily abductions of travellers on the road, said a driver of one of the popular transport company was shot dead last week by armed herdsmen.
They threatened not to vacate the road until Governor Godwin Obaseki or his deputy, Philip Shaibu, showed up.
Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki, has reassured that government would sustain collaboration with the military, police, members of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network and other security outfits to tackle insecurity on the road.
He gave the assurance when the leadership of the Student Union Government (SUG) of Ambrose Alli University visited him at Government House, Benin City.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyoha, the governor said the government was commitment to the security of lives and property of Edo citizens, saying measures had been put in place to enhance security on the route and other parts of the state.
“The issue of insecurity on the highway is not peculiar to Edo State alone. We all know about the insecurity going on in the country, but Edo State Government has been proactive by doing a lot of work in collaborating with local vigilante and other security agencies to boost security along that Uhunmwode and Obagie axis. In the not too distant future, it will be a thing of the past,” he said.