Aggrieved youths in the Southern Senatorial District Area of Ondo state as early as 7am on Wednesday converged on the Benin-Lagos expressway to protest against the over five-year power outage in the senatorial district.
However, some of the youths from five of the six local government areas of the senatorial district (Odigbo, Irele, Okitipupa, Ilaje and Ese – Odo) who had planned to stage a protest against the total blackout on the Ore axis of the ever busy Benin-Lagos highway were in the early hours of Wednesday arrested by armed security agents.
The leader of the United Action for Democracy, UAD, Kunle Ajayi confirmed to DAILY POST that the youths were arrested when they were about commencing the protest which had been planned to shutdown the ever busy road in furtherance of their agitation towards calling the attention of concerned authorities to their plight.
Ajayi, who described the action as deliberate attempt by the government to shut them up from speaking against the perpetual darkness in the area, emphasised that it will not deter their agitation until electricity is restored to the affected towns and communities in the area.
The UAD leader, who condemned the action of the BEDC, stressed that the problem of non-payment of electricity bill should not be vested on consumers who have been consistent with the payment of electricity bills, and should not be made to suffer the consequence of debtors.
Meanwhile, the Ondo South Advancement and Welfare Consultative Association, OSAWA, which had planned to be involved in the blockage, has been accused by the UAD of chickening out of the protest due to purported financial inducement from the Ondo State government as well as security threat allegedly cooked up by OSAWA.
But Juwon Ade-Aworetan, who is the leader of the OSAWA group, in a statement issued in Akure, stated that the reason his group pulled out of the protest was because of the recent move by the Federal Government and Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to restore electricity to the area.
As at the time of filing this report, four police hilux vans have taken position to ensure that the protest does not hold.