From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Tired of waiting for the completion of the reconstruction of the 9 km Ekhehuan-Ugbuiyoko road, a project that started about four years ago, some residents and landlords have protested the slow pace of the work.
Following the action which drew the protesters drawn from Upper-Ekhehuan, Ugbuiyoko, Oghede, Agenigie, Ekhehuan Barracks, Udo, Evbuotubu, and Ugbine communities along the road, vehicular movement along Ekhehuan Road was disrupted Monday.
The protesters decried the deplorable condition of the road and also complained that the few metres that have been reconstructed are already failing due to the shoddy work done.
Uche Nwabuzor, a landlord in the area who spoke to reporters, said: We are protesting because of the bad road. They said the road was awarded to a construction company but I don’t really know because all this time, they will come and dig the road and they are busy selling the sand, the old asphalt and the rods which they are excavating and right now, no road for us to pass again.
‘In the evenings once it is 6 pm from Ring Road to Ugbuiyoko is N1000. Some of us that have cars go to the mechanic’s workshop every day.
‘We went to the site of the construction company, they told us the government has not reimbursed them, that is why the work is like that. We don’t know who is saying the truth or not so we decided to come out into the road to draw the attention of the governor so that the world will hear our cry as common men and maybe that will make them come to do the work because this was not what the governor promised us.
‘When the governor came to campaign in Upper Ekewan he said immediately he resumes office this road will be fixed but this work is up to four years now and it is even worse now so the suffering is too much. If nothing is done, we are coming back again to block the road. I am a landlord in the area.’
Another protester, Osayi, said: ‘I am a civil servant but I stay in this area. I have stopped driving my car home because I visit the mechanic every other day. I park in a friend’s compound by Erediauwa and then take public transport to the place and then drive my car to the office when I close I drop it at my friend’s place and take public transport home.
‘What is even more embarrassing is that the few metres they have tarred, the asphalted areas are already giving way. Go and look at Agho Junction, Ozigbo Junction, before the Uniben gate on both sides. If you are coming from Ring Road, there are already potholes. We are disappointed at what is happening,’ he complained.
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