Residents of Iwaro/Oka Akoko in Akoko Southwest Local Government Area of Ondo State on Saturday trooped out in large numbers and peacefully protested over incessant killings through accidents caused by heavy-duty vehicles.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions like, ”Don’t turn our community into a ghost town”, “Our lives matter’’; No Solution, No Peace”; and “We are tired of accidents on Akungba/Oka Road”.
Other inscriptions were: “Ondo State Government (ODSG) construct an alternative road on Akungba/Oka Road”; and “Incessant accidents make us homeless.’’
The protesters barricaded the Iwaro Oka road, preventing vehicular movement.
They noted that they had lost many lives and property worth millions of naira to the incessant accidents.
The Chairman of Iwaro Oka Community Union, Dele Ologbese, said the union decided to organise the protest due to the menace caused by drivers of heavy-duty trucks.
Ologbese said the town had been suffering economically due to farmers neglecting their farmlands because of the resulting inferno from incessant tanker accidents.
He urged the state government to put permanent barricade against heavy-duty vehicles and provide alternate routes for them.
The Regent of the Asin of Iwaro Oka, Adekemi Omorinbola, said the accidents were so rampant with nothing being done about complaints by the people of the town.
Omorinbola urged the government to ensure it moved swiftly to proffer a lasting solution to save lives and property of the people.
“We are here because the accident is so much in this area. We can’t sleep with one eye closed, not to talk of the two eyes.
“It is affecting our people economically and psychologically,’’ the regent said.
Femi Akerele, a Youth Leader in the community had tried its best to appeal to the government to put permanent barricade or construct alternative routes on the road to prevent further occurrence but to no avail.
The Chairman of the Community, Mr. Jerome Orole, urged the state government to act quickly on the problem.
Orole said the youth had planned to protest in a manner that the government would not like before the elders in the town quickly took charge.
However, the Chairman of the Akoko Southwest Local Government, Dapo Fasesin, when contacted, said the governor had promised to solve the problem facing the community with heavy-duty trucks.
Fasesin said Iwaro Oka road was part of the first projects embarked upon by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, urging the community to believe the words of the governor that a solution would be proffered to the incessant accidents.