James Sowole in Akure
Shops were Monday closed and vehicular traffic disrupted for several hours as artisans and residents of Araromi, High School and Kajola areas of Akure, the Ondo State capital, took to the streets to protest what they described as months of power outage in the areas.
The protest, which commenced as early as 7:00am, forced many commuters to trek several kilometres before they could connect commercial vehicles and motorcycles that took them to their place of work. The affected areas were some of the densely populated areas in the Akure metropolis.
The protesters blocked the popular Araromi-High School Expressway with different objects to prevent any passage of vehicles irrespective of the occupants. In order to escape the barricade, civil servants and other workers that normally resume work early, made use of adjourning streets and pathways to connect the main roads.
The protesters accused the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of not responding to their complains over the months. Speaking on behalf of the residents, Otaru Jerry Eshimakhe said the community had made several efforts to the BEDC over the outage, accusing the distribution company of being insensitive to their plights.
When THISDAY visited the area, men of the Ondo State Police Command were seen on ground apparently to avoid a breakdown of law and order.