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East-West road: Protesters suspend action, vow to resume if work stops

Senator Godswill Akpabio

The protest by Ogoni youths over the deplorable condition of the East-West road was suspended on Sunday, August 1, 2021 after a Church service, with a vow to return to block the road if work on it stops.

The protest lasted seven days and saw the Ogoni people shutting down the critical Eleme section of the East-West highway.

According to the protesters, the action was to pressure the Federal Government to mobilise contractors to the site to begin work on the road, which they insisted had become a death trap for both motorists and pedestrians.

A prominent Ogoni son who spoke to Global Patriot Newspapers online on condition of anonymity said that they first went to Church to thank God for how He gave them the strength and resolve to remain till the Federal Government, through the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio ordered the contractor to site to commence reconstruction of the vital road.

The protesters, who said that all their entreaties to government in the past had yielded no results, had lamented that the Niger Delta region and particularly Ogoniland, the economic live wire of the country, was being neglected to the extent that they did not have the road to ply on as well as other basics that should be their right.

They had then insisted that they would not end the protest, even after Senator Akpabio had appealed to them, till they saw the contractor on site with men and machinery.

The Ogoni Chief confirmed that they have since seen activity on the project as well received assures from the Minister, which was why they were suspending the protest, stressing that they are closely monitoring the work to ensure that there will be no stoppage, insisting that “any failure on the part of government means that the people will come out in more numbers.”

The Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarillomate Ollor, also confirmed the suspension of the protest while speaking to newsmen at the Trailer Park in Onne, Eleme LGA on Sunday afternoon.

He said that the suspension of the protest was as a result of a firm commitment by Senator Akpabio that reconstruction of the road would commence immediately.

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