Thursday, December 8

Protesters shut Sango-Otta over bad roads.

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Protesters yesterday shut a section of Sango Otta Road in Ogun State over the deplorable condition of federal roads in the area. The placard-carrying protesters were led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state Some inscriptions on the placards read, “We don’t want palliative work”; “We want good roads”; “All roads are bad”.

The state chairman of NLC Comrade Bankole Emmanuel, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said the palliative work was not the answer to the worsening federal roads in the state, describing it as a disgrace.

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Bankole accused Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola of lying to residents of the state by telling them that the road would be fixed soon whereas there was nothing to show for his promise. Bankole said Organised Labour would have shut down the state as was initially planned, but changed their minds because of the palliative work of the Dapo Abiodun government on those roads.

Bankole said, “Twenty-one days ago, we were here. We gave an ultimatum to government that we were not pleased with the state of the roads, particularly the Minister of Works coming here to promise that palliative work would commence immediately and several weeks after, nothing was done. That was why the 21-day ultimatum was given.

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“Interestingly, a few days ago, they started some work. We can see some loads of granites by the state government. But this is not what we asked for. The Minister was here and he promised to commence immediate palliatives; that is yet to happen.

“For Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola to lie to the citizens of Ogun State, he is being declared persona non grata in Ogun State. We are declaring him an enemy of Ogun State. We don’t want to see him in Ogun State for coming to deceive us.

“When we leave this place, we are going to the FERMA [the federal road maintenance agency] office in Abeokuta and also Ministry of Works to send a message to their headquarters in Abuja that we are not pleased with what they are doing.

“Ordinarily, the decision was to shut down this place entirely, but because of the efforts we have seen by the state government, the place will not be shut down. We are sensitive; we are not here to inflict pain on the citizens of the state. The citizens are already in pain. We are not here to add to it but to make a statement loud and clear that we won’t allow them to make a mess of us.

“Our people are here to monitor the state of progress. We have our network all over the state. We would not allow them to come and do window-dressing and leave this place. We want to be monitoring day to day progress on the road, I can assure our people about that,” he said.

The Lagos State NLC chairperson, comrade Xessi Funmi, said that Sango, Ifo, Ota and Igbesa are where Ogun State gets much of its Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).

“The people should take their destiny in their hands and vote for the rightful leader come 2023,” she said.

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