By ‘Suyi Ayodele
Commuters on the Benin-Sapele-Warri Expressway, by the Benin Bypass, on Thursday had a herculean task navigating the road as residents of the area, in their scores, took over the bad portion of the road to protest against the bad state of the road and seeming abandonment by both the Federal and the Edo State Governments.
The protesting residents claimed that the several petitions written to the governments had not yielded any positive response as the road remains impassable and expressed fears that the rains already setting in could worsen the situation.
One of the protesters, who claimed to be the Chairman of Sapele Road By-pass Axis, Daniel Omorogbe, told newsmen that they had suffered enough Speaking to newsmen, a resident in the area who said he is the chairman of Sapele Road By-pass Axis, Daniel Omorogbe Said they had suffered enough due to the bad road.
“Some of our children can no longer go to school. Our cars are bad. We are finding it difficult to use this road, and this road connects to the Niger Delta and those coming from the Niger Delta axis to other parts of the country also pass through here. Trucks coming from the North to the Niger Delta also pass through here,” Omorogbe lamented.
“Three months ago, we wrote to the Senate, House of Representatives, we wrote to the Ministry of Works, the state House of Assembly and even the governor of the state, still nothing has been done so we are tired. We are going to stay here until the government listens to us. We are going to continue to remain here till they answer. They come here to be using laborers to work using head pans and wheelbarrows and once rain falls, the whole place will collapse and get flooded,” he added.
Also speaking, another resident, Omo Osifo, said “we now spend hours; from by-pass to Ring Road used to be N150, now we spend up to N500 because of the state of the road especially when it rains. They were rushing a woman to the hospital for delivery but because of the bad road, there was traffic and she delivered, it was a good Samaritan that now rushed her to a nearby hospital. What if that good Samaritan was not there?”
For Mrs Sandra Otaigbe, another protester, “we want to make it known to the federal and the state government that good social amenities are not a privilege but a right. If it rains people are stranded, you see little children trekking with their launch bags after school because of the bad situation when it rains.”
When contacted, the Federal Controller of Works and Housing, Edo State, Razaq Aransiola, declined comments, promising to call back, which he was yet to do at the time of filing this report.