From Tony Osauzo, Benin

For two days running, the Auchi end of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Lokoja Highway has been reportedly blocked, creating hard times for commuters.

The road was said to have been blocked by ‘Concerned Edo Citizens’ who are protesting the abandonment of the reconstruction work on the road which was started since 2013.

The group reportedly mobilised residents and other road users who have made the road completely impassable and at the popular Jattu Junction, mounted canopies, made fires and cooked food and meat for the people.

The protesters were also said to have got the sympathy of the truck drivers union within the Etsako West axis, who deployed their vehicles to block the junction which is a gateway to vehicles plying the Benin- Ekpoma – Abuja highway .

The action resulted in a long stretch of trailers blocking one lane from Jattu junction to Okpella and Agbede with a lot of inconvenience to other road users.

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“Going around Auchi and environs have been tough in the last two days beause the blockade of the highway spiraled into adjoining roads and streets in the town. One cannot even drive with the current cost of fuel so commercial vehicles have been the option adopted to move around the town.

“But it is rather unfortunate that the government can subject its own citizens to this kind of hardship. No security, no light and no road for the people. Is it not an embarrassment that the federal government cannot complete a road they started since 2013. They have not even gone halfway in the construction”, a Lecturer of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, lamented yesterday.

A similar scenario occurred last year which led to assurance by the officials of the federal ministry of works through two royal fathers from the area, the Otaru of Auchi and the Ogieneni of Uzairue to kick-start the rehabilitation of the road.

The Senator representing Edo North in the Senate, Adams Oshiomhole, had recently lamented that a paltry sum of 200 million was appropriated for the reconstruction of the road in the 2024 budget.