August 01, (THEWILL) – Three days after hundreds of angry youths in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State blocked the Akpajo and Refinery junction end of the East-West Road, also described as the Eleme section of the road leading to the Port Harcourt Refinery, the Indorama, the free trade zone and the Onne seaport, they have vowed to continue the blockade until the Federal Government fixes the failed portions of the road.
The protesting youths, who carried placards to express their displeasure with the continued neglect of the East-West Road despite its economic importance to the country, said they were willing to continue to ground movement in the area until the government is ready to do the needful.
One of the protesters, who identified himself as Mene, said the aim of the protest was to appeal to the Federal Government to fix the road. He said, “We have been sleeping here since Monday and we will continue to sleep here and stay on the road until the Federal Government listens to us. We have been begging the government to come and fix this road, but it is playing politics with us. We have had enough.
“If they want to order the military to kill us, let them go ahead. e are waiting for them. It is painful that this road leads to the Port Harcourt Refinery, a fertiliser company and the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, but nothing has been done about it. Our people are dying every day and trucks fall here almost daily. We cannot fold our arms anymore.”
Meanwhile, truck drivers stranded on the road have accused some of the protesters of extorting them. One of them, known as Peter, said, “Yesterday, about seven young men took away our mobile phones and cash. To be honest, I don’t like that.”
Reacting to the blockade, the Chairman of Eleme LGA, Obarilomate Ollor, said he would only ask they youths to vacate the road when the Federal Government had shown readiness to do the needful.
“Our people will continue their struggle for the good of the people until a commitment comes from the Federal Executive Council before we can ask our people to leave the road.”