BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
ASABA — THE gridlock caused by protesting physically challenged persons in Asaba, Monday afternoon, did not abate until about midnight when the police arrested and moved them to the state police command headquarters for what they described as “protective custody.”

Until then, the protesting persons with disabilities vowed not to leave the highway.

The physically challenged persons during the protest, yesterday. PHOTO: NATH ONOJAKE
The physically challenged persons during the protest, yesterday. PHOTO: NATH ONOJAKE

Most of the stranded road users had to pass the night in hotels in Asaba while some others managed to continue their journey after the road was cleared by midnight.

Some of the motorists diverted through Ibusa and Okpanam exit routes.

State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Lucky Uyabeme told reporters that “the highway was eventually cleared.

“They have their grievances for coming to the road. They said they want to see the governor so that they would explain their plight to him. The road has been cleared and I can say they have achieved their aim because the governor said he would see them today (Tuesday). Some of their executives have been selected and they are on their way to Warri to see the governor.

“What is clear is that they were not arrested but just moved away to clear the road. It is a federal highway and nobody has the power to block it but the police were so tactical in removing them from the road so that there would be free flow of traffic. They were not arrested, they are in protective custody.”

Asked if the police would be pressing any charges against them, the PPRO said: “For now no charge until after the meeting with the governor.”

The Asaba/Benin highway was blocked at the Summit junction, Asaba, Monday, between 2 p.m and midnight, preventing movement of vehicles from both sides of the road.

61 persons paraded for cultism

Meantime, a total of 61 persons made up of men and women were paraded Tuesday at the Delta State police headquarters for cultism.

According to the PPRO, “32 male and 10 female suspected hoodlums were arrested on July 5, 2013 by detectives from the State CID Asaba when they raided a criminal hideout at Spotlight Club along Asaba/Agbor expressway, Asaba following a tip-off.

Also, two days after, following a tip-off SARS operatives at Asaba stormed Dester Hotel, Nnebisi Road and other locations in the state capital and arrested nine female and 20 male cultists who are alleged to be members of Neo Black Movement of Africa  a.k.a Black Axe who gathered to celebrate their anniversary.”

Some of the arrested persons protested during the parade, saying they were picked up while having fun in the club.

 

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