Motorists and commuters were on Thursday stranded on the Benin-Agbor-Onisha Expressway as youths, drivers and residents of Ohovbe in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State protested over the failed portions of the road.
Our reporter who visited the area observed the protesters barricaded the road with articulated vehicles and other items, thereby preventing road users from accessing the road.
Daily Trust also observed youths playing football on the major road area that was not blocked.
Some of the protesters, who spoke to Daily Trust, lamented that they to trek several kilometers before boarding vehicles to their destinations.
One of the commuters, Eze Chinedu, said he trekked for about two kilometers from the bypass before getting a vehicle at the Ikpoba Hill area.
“I thought they only blocked the failed portion of the road to register their grievances, so I decided to walk to where I can get a vehicle but to my surprise I have trekked two kilometres and I am going to Ring road. I doubt if I would be able to work today because I am exhausted.”
One of the articulated drivers, who identified himself as Mr Abdulrazak, said he supported the protest to draw both the state and federal government to their plight on the road.
“Once you get to the failed portion of the road at Ikhueniro and bypass, you can spend two to three days before you can continue your journey. So we decided to join the people in blocking the road with our vehicle so nobody can access the road”.
Also speaking, another truck driver, Mr. Omuobi Abuegwu, said he was heading towards Onitsha from Lagos, lamenting that he was not sure of when the gridlock created due to the result of the protest.
“I have been stranded here since yesterday (Wednesday). I have not even moved an inch. The residents are protesting against the bad road. They want the government to help fix the road. As I speak, I have not eaten since. I am going to Onitsha from Lagos”.
He however blamed the Edo State Government for not providing palliatives on the road, adding that all Edo State roads are bad.
Another driver, Mr. Thankgod Ogucha, lamented that he had been stuck in the traffic for two days now.
“We are suffering and there is no money to buy food to eat,” he added.
A resident, Prince Solomon Nnamdi, said people had been complaining about the road but the government was not doing anything on the road.
“Other states are doing palliative job on these federal roads because of their people but it is not so here. Edo State is an oil producing state. Apart from that, the IGR can do a lot of things in the state to reduce the suffering of the people on this road.
“This road condition is affecting food prices at the market. You can see trucks parked here for days. I just saw one Hausa man sleeping under his truck, I then asked him why are you sleeping? He said they have been here for two days now, sleeping,” he said.