Passengers trek long distance as East-West Road protest reaches Day 7 | Dailytrust

Passengers trek long distance as East-West Road protest reaches Day 7

Stranded passengers trekking at the long stretch of east west road
Stranded passengers trekking at the long stretch of east west road
Hundreds of passengers and commuters who ply the ever-busy east-west road have been subjected to long-distance trekking as the protest embarked upon by youths of Eleme and other ethnic groups of Rivers State entered the seventh day.
The youths had, on Monday last week, barricaded the long stretch of the east-west road which has a good concentration of multi billion companies.
The youths, drawn from different communities in Rivers State, who are protesting the poor state of the east-west road, had on Wednesday converted the protest to a carnival of sort as they mounted canopies at the centre of the road where they dance and sing to different renditions of music.
The protesters also came with different cooking utensils and food items which they cook and share the food among themselves.
Hundreds of passengers and commuters were, in the early hours of Monday, stranded as the angry youths blocked the Eleme axis of the ever-busy road.
The youths, armed with various placards, were protesting the failure of the Nigerian government to fix that portion of the road which is in poor state.
The youths blocked the road at Akpajo, Refinery Junction and Trailer Park ends of the road and stopped motorists from using the road.
The protest obstructed business activities of major companies such as  petrochemicals, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt Refinery Company and other military establishments located along the stretch of the road.
The protesters have been sleeping and keeping vigil on the road.
Some of the passengers had to disembark from their various vehicles, carried their belongings on their heads and headed to their destinations on foot.
Some of the passengers and commuters, who spoke with our reporter, called on federal government to dialogue with the protesters as to find an amicable solution to the problem.
A passenger, who simply identified herself as Rita, said that she had to disembark from the bus she boarded from Port Harcourt and trek to cross over the barricade mounted by the protesters.
“These people are very serious and are not giving anything to chances.
“I joined a bus from Port Harcourt headed to Eleme but I have to come down from the bus as soon as the driver gets to Akpajo junction where the protesters barricaded the road.
“I have to cross over with my loads and climb a bike to continue with my journey,” she said.
She called on the federal government to dialogue with the protesters to find a solution to the problem.
A truck driver, Musa Abudullahi, who had been on the road since Monday, said: “I came to carry fertilizer from a fertilizer company located close to Akpajo junction.
“I have loaded the truck and heading to the north but was trapped before the Akpajo junction. The protesters deflected four tyres of my truck and I have been here since Monday.”
He called on the federal government to initiate a process of reconstructing the east west road to appease the protesters.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had announced last week that the federal government had mobilised the contractor handling the east west road with a sum of N2.9bn and pleaded with the protesters to vacate the road to enable the contractor mobilise to the site.

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