By Paul Olayemi – Mosogar
Thousands of residents from Mosogar Community in Ethiope West Local Government Area in Delta state caused massive gridlock Friday when they took to the Benin-Warri highway demanding electricity after 8 years.
The residents are also accusing the community leaders of fraud saying “they collected money from us and yet we have not seen a sign of electricity”.
Last year November, the residents had stormed the highway in a protest calling on the leaders to intervene, with the Community President, Chief Columbus Akporoka, assuring them that the electricity project which the Delta state government had awarded to them earlier was eighty (80) percent completed, the residents had however promised to return to the highway if nothing was done about it.
Five months after that protest residents again took to the highway vowing not to leave until their demands are met.
As early as 5 am, residents stormed the highway burning tyres and singing war songs.
Akojona Ese told Vanguard that for 7 years and 10 months, the community has been in darkness and despite the protest, we had last time, those in charge of the power have refused to give us electricity, they have continued to defraud us and tell us stories,” he said.
Mrs Margaret Onosigho, a 36 years old woman said they were not only protesting no electricity in the community, but they were also protesting a case of fraud against their community leaders “they took five (5) thousand naira from each household and another time they came demanding for three(3) thousand naira and up till this moment, nobody has told us what they used the money for, they took money from us, no light, nothing, we will not accept this, we are tired.”
Another woman, who simply referred to herself as Titi said it was annoying that the Community is dying and no one among these leaders from political to Community seems to be bothering, “we are tired of being in darkness”.
A monarch (name withheld) in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state who was on his way to his kingdom was also turned back despite the subjects’ appeal to let the king have his way.
Leaders of the community have refused to speak on the issue. A popular youth leader, Ovie Ameh who had attempted to broker peace was however turned down when the residents demanded a commitment from him.
“He wants us to free the highway and he has promised on Monday that the light will be restored but we want a commitment from him. We want him to sign an agreement but he has refused to do so, so the protest continues”, Anoko Akporode told Vanguard.
All attempts to speak to the community President General, Chief Columbus Akporoka, was in vain as his line seems not to be connecting.
As at the time of filing this report, the highway has remained closed with commuters groaning under the heavy gridlock.
Some of the community leaders have also declined comment, with one of them telling Vanguard on phone, “No comment, please go and ask (calling the name of a highly placed community leader) whom many have accused of being behind the blackout)”.
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