By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The protest over the deplorable state of the Federal Roads in parts of Benue State, weekend, spread to Obi and Gboko Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state with angry youths, women and civil society groups taking over the roads to demand the intervention of the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that the protest had last week commenced in Oju LGA over the impassable state of the 56 kilometer Otukpo-Obi-Oju which connects Cross Rivers State.
The protest at the weekend shifted to Obi LGA where placard bearing youths took over the road lamenting their fate and demanding immediate action by the Federal Government to make the road motorable.
One of the leaders of the protests and President of Igede Youths Council, Andyson Egbodo disclosed that the strategic road which was first constructed in 1986 had never been maintained until it deteriorated to its present sorry state.
He said “this road is so strategic to the Igede people because it links Ogoja in Cross Rivers State as well as Ebonyi State but it has been left in this state of disrepair.
“Our people are suffering untold hardship because the road has been left in this sorry state for several years now after it was constructed in 1986.
“We learnt reliably that at some instances the contract for the repair of the road were awarded but on those occasions work on the road was never executed and nobody queried those responsible for the job.
“And so we are today asking several questions as to why it has been abandoned in this deplorable state for so long as if the Igede people are not Nigerians. We are asking the Federal Government to save is from this untold hardship by fixing the road because all socio-economic activities in Igede land have been grounded due to the state of this major road that runs through the two Igede speaking LGAs of Benue state.”
Similarly, the Yandev-Ugbema Federal Highway was also at the weekend blocked by angry youths at Ipav Community Sec School, Gboko LGA who took over the road to protest its state of disrepair.
One of the aggrieved youths who identified himself as Terseer said they decided to take over the road to express their displeasure over its deplorable condition.
He said, “this is the worse road in the entire state because it is a nightmare for anyone to travel on this road. Strangely some years ago we saw that they started repairing it from Yandev but it was long ago abandoned by the contractor. Apart from the danger the state of the road posses to road users, our people are also falling sick from inhaling the dust that spew from the busy road each time a vehicle plies it.
“So we are calling on the Federal Government to do something about the road because the state of the road has become a major source of worry for everyone of us.”
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