John Adams, Minna
Youths under the auspices of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), yesterday, blocked the Suleja-Minna and Bida-Minna roads to protest the deplorable condition of roads in Niger State.
As early as 6am, the youth, had barricaded the roads crippling government and commercial activities for over five hours, as they ensured vehicular traffic was impossible.
The youths, who carried placards with various anti-government inscriptions, vowed to continue their protest until the roads are fixed.
According to Mohammad Etsu, coordinator of the protest, “we will not stop this protest for good roads until the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola addresses them.” While the siege lasted, police and other security operatives fired teargas to disperse the youths, but they remained adamant, chanting anti-government slogans and demanding that the government fix the roads.
“We are forced to embark on the protest after due consultations with stakeholders on the deplorable conditions of federal roads which has resulted to severe hardship to motorists and the people. There has been losses of lives, just as these bad roads has been crippling economic and social activities,” said one of the protesters.
“Governor Abubakar Sani Bello should increase funding and rehabilitation of trunk ‘B’ roads to make life, movement and economic activities easier for Niger state citizens.”
The protesters demanded that the Federal Government release fund immediately for all trunk ‘A’ roads in the state.
They also asked the government to expedite action on the dualisation of Minna-Suleja road noting that contract for road had been awarded since 2010.
The youths also demanded that the identity of contractors handling federal and state roads contract be made public to enable them follow up on the progress of work.
The protesters later ease the blockade around 12noon after five hours of protest. They gave government two months to mobilise contractors to fix the roads or face a complete shut down of federal roads in the next protest.