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Protests ground socio-economic activities in Benin



Benin City, the Edo State capital stood still for several hours as thousands of residents took to the streets to protest some policies of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led administration which they described as anti-people.

The protest under the aegis of Joint Action Force a group of several civil society groups took their protests through major roads in Benin, from Akpakpava to the Oba Ovoranmen Square, Sapele Road and others grounding traffic while it lasted.

The protesters armed with placards with various inscriptions, distributed leaflets containing their demands.

The over one kilometre-long protesters led by Reverend Olu Martins and Barrister Abraham Oviawe amongst others listed their pains to include reckless spending of tax payers’ money, multiple taxation, needless borrowing and the recently introduced land use charge which they say will further impoverish the already hungry Edo citizens.

They also condemned the recent over four hundred percent increase of fees payable at the state-owned Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, alleged apprehensive tendencies by agents of government and alleged substandard educational system.

Read also: Another Edo council boss suspended

At the Edo State House of Assembly where they were received by the member representing Oredo West constituency at the House, Chris Okaeben, the protesters called for the urgent repair of most roads which they say are in poor state, the reinstatement of the over ten thousand youths that were sacked six months ago, after serving as casual workers for six years, employment opportunities and provision of functional health care delivery system.

The protesters were also quick to mention the revamping of ailing industries, Edo Line, Edo Pharmaceutical Company, Bendel Breweries, Ethiope Publishing Company, Edo Textile Mill, Ehor Fruit Factory and Uromi Cassavita plant amongst others.

Honourable Chris Okaeben thanked them for the peaceful conduct of the protest promising to take their complaints to the house when it resumes for plenary.

A mild drama however played out at the Government House, Benin where the protesters refused to listen to the Chief of Staff to the governor, Patrick Obahiagbon as they hooted and booed him demanding to hear from only the Comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

Officers and men of the Edo State Police Command were on the ground to ensure that the exercise was peaceful.
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