Residents of Edo State on Monday trooped out to register their displeasure over the rising pump price of fuel and other anti-people policies that have pushed more Nigerians into poverty.
The inhabitants made their grievances known in a protest that obstructed vehicular movements on Oba Ovonramwen square popularly called ring road and other adjoining roads in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The protesters based their anger on the supposedly indifferent attitudes displayed by Nigerian leaders, who they say have over the years subjected the masses to untold hardships.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Omobude Agho, former coordinator general of Edo State Civil Society Organisation (EDOCSO), said the hike in fuel prices and scarcity of the products have heightened the sufferings of residents in the state.
Agho, who said the citizens of the country have been taken for granted and have been constantly meant to suffer hardship in the midst of abundance, noted that the protest would continue in the state until the price of fuel becomes affordable and the product available for the masses.
“Fuel has become N700 and minimum wage is N30,000. Bag of rice is over N50,000 and the minimum wage is still N30,000,” he said.
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“You cannot move from one point to another unless you are carrying a heavy budget and minimum wage remains the same, we think we can’t continue like this in this country and we are coming out to say Nigerians must take action.”
Henceforth, he said that the civil society organisations in the state will take the battle to those who are sabotaging the nation’s economy and creating hardships on citizenry.
“All our economic saboteurs, in high and low places, we will fight them. Before we say we will resist them but now, we will fight them. Anywhere you see black marketers, pursue them, and don’t pity them that they are poor. Anybody that is wicked, whether poor or rich, is wicked,” Agho said.
“Anywhere we catch a black marketer, we will seize the fuel, we will convert it and if you don’t have anything to do with the fuel, throw it away. So, when those at the black market don’t have the fuel, the filling stations will be forced to sell at the fixed price.
“And the filling stations that are selling above the federal government’s agreed price, we will begin to picket them. We know them and we know where they are and we shall get them.”