Coalition of civil societies under the aegis of Joint Action Force (JAF) made up of aggrieved landladies, market women and disengaged staff of Edo Youth Empowerment Scheme (Edo Yes), Monday, staged a peaceful rally against the policies of the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The protest grounded commercial activities in and around the premises of the Edo State House of Assembly, King Square, Sapele Road, Reservation Road/Golf Course Road, Dennis Osadebe and Edo State Government House roads.
It was gathered that the disengaged Edo Yes staff protested against their sack by the state government without recourse to due process while landladies were annoyed at the introduction of the contentious land-use charge with the market women protesting government’s multiple taxes, among others.
JAF denounced what it called the government’s insensitivity to the economic plight of the people of the state with its anti-people policies.
Abraham Ovia and Kola Edokpayi, who spoke for the protesters, urged the state government to immediately commence the process of revamping ailing industries in the state as well as reverse some of its anti-people policies.
They noted that governance would be meaningless to the people if government’s policies were to their detriment.
The protesters also decried the recent increase of tuition at the state-owned university, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, deplorable state of roads, especially those in Benin City metropolis, and the resuscitation of Edo Line Transport Company.
They also demanded among others for the revamping of Edo State Pharmaceutical Company, Bendel Brewery, Ethiope Publishing Company, Ehor Fruit Juice Factory and Uromi Cassavita.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Chris Okaeben, who is the chairman, House-standing Committee on Information and Sports assured them that the Assembly would look into their demands with a view to addressing them.
At the premises of the Edo State Government House, Patrick Obahiagbon, chief of staff to the governor, was however alleged to have been pelted with sachet water by the protesters who insisted that they would not allow any other person to address them except the governor, Adams Oshiomhole.