#EndSARS protesters paralyse business activities along Idiroko border road

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By Yemi Adeleye

Ota (Ogun State), Oct. 20, 2020 Commercial and business activities were on Tuesday paralysed on the popular Idiroko border road in Ota Local Government Area of Ogun as hundreds of youths mounted road blocks at regular intervals.

Naija247news correspondent, who monitored the road that leads to the border of Nigeria and Benin Republic, observed several road blocks by the youth stopping vehicular movements.

The protesters, who chanted various solidarity songs and carried placards with various inscriptions, also prevented commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists from operating on the road.

Some inscriptions on their placards include: “#EndSARS, End Police Brutality”, “#End Bad Road, Fix Our Road”, “Owode, Sango, Iyana, Ilogbo, Idiroko Roads are death traps”, “End bad government”, among others.

The protesters at Iyana-Iyesi danced to various musical beats being played to entertain themselves and mimicking what they were passing through in Nigeria.

The development made thousands of people living on the corridor to resort to trekking from places such as Atan, Winners Chapels and environs up to Oju-Ore, Sango and others.

One of the protesters, Mr Akin Oyebanji, a university student, told NAN that the reason for the road block was to draw attention not only to brutality of defunct SARS but also to the suffering and hardship of citizens.

Oyebanji said: “We have told people to stay in their houses, we must show that we are not happy with the police extortions and killings as well as governnment’s failed promises.

“Things are really tough and hard, we must take our future in our hands. Look at our roads here, they are very bad. We want the government to put an end to all sufferings and hardship.

“Why should we continue to pay for road worthiness when there are no good roads anywhere?

“Why increasing the electricity tariff and pump price of petrol? Why do we continue to pay for estimated billings?”

Also speaking, Mr Mutiu Akerele, a young adult, told NAN that the impunity and extortions by police and other operatives such as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) on Sango-Idiroko road had brought so much hardship to people.

Akerele said: “We cannot continue like this, our roads are bad, things are tough, life is hard, police and VIO collect money regularly on these roads, impunity is first class here, we want a change.”

Mrs Aina Adetoro, who joined the protesters at Rainbow bus stop, prayed for the youth for staging the peaceful protests to draw the attention of the government to the sufferings in the land.

Adetoro said: “God will bless and protect these youth. Things are not normal again in this country. We are suffering. Government is taking us for granted.

“Police extortions, which have become a norm must stop; prices of staple food must come down, we cannot afford rice at N30,000 per bag; electricity tarrif increase is bad, increase in price of petrol is bad.”

Also speaking, Mr Tajudeen Kareem, a trader told NAN that the protesters had the support of many people on the corridor, saying that police extortions between Sango all through to Idiroko border were huge.

Kareem, who reiterated that things were getting tough, said, “if you hold N30,000 now, you are not happy becuase its value cannot buy anything to make you happy; N30,000 now is just like wind.”

Naija247news reports that the #EndSARS protest by the youth is seeking an end to the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) over police brutality, among other demands.

The protests in the last 13 days have, however, created a lot of tension in most parts of the country.

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