Thousands of angry Edo residents made up civil society groups, students, and market women yesterday hauled objects at the direction of the Chief of Staff, COS, to the Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon, yesterday while insisting that state governor must be physically present to listen to their grievances.
The protesters staged a peaceful protest along major streets against the state government and called on the governor to reverse the implementation of the Land Use Charges, planned increment of tuition fees of tertiary institution and multiple taxation, among others.
Security agents made up men of the Nigeria Police Force and Directorate of State Services, DSS, were on ground to ensure that it was not hijacked by hoodlums when the protest began at about 9am from Freedom House along Akpakpava Street.
Some of the messages on the leaflets circulated read: “No to Impunity, No to Reckless Spending of Tax Payers Money, No to arbitrary increase of school fess and No to sub-standard educational system.’
They later marched to Government House to formally intimate the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of their demands.
The Chief of Staff to the governor, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon who was on ground to receive the protesters was shouted at while some youths threw objects at him as they insisted that the governor must address them.
It was later gathered that the governor was not readily available to receive them. Security agents however were able to calm the angry youths and they left government house unattended.
Addressing newsmen at the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ secretariat, a social commentator and Human right crusader, Rev Olu Martin, said they had to embark on the protest march because of the hardship occasioned by the alleged double taxation and land use charges introduced by the Oshiomhole government.
He said: “We have used every avenue to tell the governor, when we voted him into office in November 2008, there were promissory notes that made thousands of youths support him and by the definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln, it was apt then.
“At the beginning, we saw some attempt by the governor to ameliorate the plight of the people.
In the past when the governor was going on inspection of projects, people will abandon their wares without even locking their shops. Nobody remembers now how you came in but how you left. It appears the government has turned it ears against the people; all our cries and lamentation have been met with propanganda by government and all we hear is that they are being sponsored.”