From MATHEW JWANTU, Minna
The peaceful protest organised by National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Minna Niger State on Monday resulted into chaos as combined security team threw tear-gas on the youths.
Trouble started at the scene of the protest when the youths cited the combined security forces preparing what look like a canister in their ammunition and started throwing stone on the securities whom were provoked and started shooting ruber bullet and tear-gas randomly.
The youth numbering about 500 carrying placards with some unprintable inscriptions and chanting anti government slogans disallowed all vehicles from moving in and out of Minna.
As early as 6:00am the youth, under the umbrella of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Niger State chapter barricaded the Chanchaga end of the roads leaving hundreds of travelers stranded.
Responding, the protest leader of the team Comrade BB Sharif said people are suffering and dying over deplorable roads every day and government both state and Federal are not doing any thing about it.
Students that were going to school were cut up with the blockade as they were forced to make a U-turn.
The well coordinated protests also saw the blockade of Bida-Minna, and Minna-Tegina highways.
The Minna-Suleja axis of the protests was being coordinated by one Mohammad Estu who vowed that they will not leave the roads until the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola comes to address them.
“The Coalition of Youth and Concern Groups in Niger State having due consultations on the deplorable conditions of Federal Roads in Niger State which has resulted to severe hardship to motorists and Nigerlites in terms of loss of lives, crippling economic and social activities in the state.”
The youth President called on the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to fund the numerous awarded contracts of trunk ‘A’ roads in the state and facilitate and expedite action on the dualisation of Minna – Suleja road that was awarded since 2010.
He also appealed to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to increase funding and rehabilitation of trunk ‘B’ roads within the state to make life, movement and economic activities easier for Niger State citizens.
“We demand the disclosure of identity of the contractors handling all awarded Federal/State road contracts to enable us follow up the process of work. By the next 2 months contractors handling Lambata – Agaie – Bida, Bangi Road, Rijau Bridge and Suleja – Minna road were not mobilized to site the coalition left with no option than to divert heavy loaded trucks from plying bad state roads.”
“The government of Niger State is hereby given 72 hours to ensure the strict implementation of the existing law of restraining heavy trunk from plying trunk ‘B’ roads within 6am – 9pm he said.
They called on Security Agencies (NPF, NSCDC, FRSC) and other agency part of the restriction team to be professional and transparent in the implementation of the restriction order.
“Niger State government should consider the dualition of Bida – Minna Road because of its economic importance to the State”.
The protest was simultaneous in all the major exit roads in Niger State including Bida-Minna roads, Tagina Minna road, Chanchaga, Minna roads,
As at the time of filing this report the situation is calm and the combined mobile security were pleading with the youths to open the road as the protest lasted for 6 hours.