There was a mid-drama at the early hours of Monday in Benin as officers from the Edo State Police Command in Benin City, cordoned off the entrance into the Museum, Ring Road, Benin following a protest by aggrieved civil rights groups in the city.
The protesters had converged at the Museum early today to kick off the their protest when the police came and locked them inside
The rights groups who also reside in the state were to protest the hike in fuel and cement prices, as well as the increase in building materials and other commodities.
Leader of the protesters, Osemudiamen Ogbidi, a former SUG President of the University of Benin, demanded that the government set up a task force within fourteen days or it will mobilize market women, men, builders and every citizen of the state to protest what he described as unfavourable living conditions.
“If after fourteen days, the government fails to address the urgent issues we have raised they should wait for us, this ugly, unbearable experience must stop.
“How can Edo, with the high deposit of limestone (raw material for the production of cement) be experiencing this difficulty. How do you expect us to buy a bag of cement for 4,000 why in the north it is sold for less.
Activists, Kola Edokpoyi, Kelly Omokaro and other protesters also unanimously passed a vote of no confidence on the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Phillip Ogbadu who they alleged deployed his officers to do “the bidding of higher powers.”
“The Commissioner of police is supposed to be a knowledgeable man but has belittled himself before us, you can see the padlock, he ordered his men to lock us inside the museum ground, he has imprisoned us illegally.
“We want to opine categorically that since we cannot buy a bag of cement for 4,000, we can not also buy a litre of fuel for over 160 else the president should resign. We have given them 14 days ultimatum.”
Calls put across to the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Kontongs Bello were not picked neither did he returned the calls.