Men of the Delta State Police Command on Monday arrested physically challenged persons whose protests caused traffic gridlock in Asaba, the state capital around midnight. They were moved to the state police command headquarters for what they described as “protective custody”, as their protest which started on Monday afternoon didn’t seem to be close to its end.
Until their arrest, the protesting persons with disabilities vowed not to leave the highway.
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. [Vanguard]