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Road diversion: Osun residents protest govt inaction, police aggression

There was pandemonium in Osogbo on Thursday as residents of Peter Ajibola and Igbalaye areas of the city protested over dust haze caused by ongoing road construction.

The residents, it was gathered, were angered by the dust emanating from the road diversion as a result of ongoing construction within the town.

It was recalled that in December, 2023, Governor Ademola Adeleke announced a N100 billion infrastructural plan which involved the construction of flyovers in different parts of tye state including Osogbo, the state capital.

To further aid the flow of traffic, the state government announced diversions within populated residential areas.

It was learnt that residents, in protest, on Thursday blocked the street which hindered free flow of traffic.

As a result, policemen from Dada Estate Police Division stormed the area and arrested some residents.

While chatting, a resident Funmilayo Ade lamented that the way the government is going about with the road diversion is wrong.

She revealed that the dust from the road diversion is starting to cause health issues among residents as some children were now vomitting blood.

“We appreciate the government but the way they are treating us is not good. We can’t open our shops again because of the dust. When you open your mouth to talk, dust will enter into your mouth and nose .

“This is the reason why put people came out to protests today.

“The police just came now and arrested innocent residents, smashed the phone of a lady who was just reading calls and started shooting tear gas canisters everywhere.

“There was agreement between the resident and the state government before the diversion began that they will be wetting the road due to the dust but it is not enough.”

Another resident, Oyegbade Wahab stated that the dust has started to affect the health of the residents.

He urged the state government to lay asphalt temporary on the road so as to reduce the dust.

Reacting, the state Commissioner for Information, Kolapo Alimi, stated that the government understands what the residents are passing through.

While pleading for more understanding, Alimi added that “the state government would look into the complaints of the residents from the appropriate quarters”.

“Now that they have protested, we will see what the government can do to alleviate their suffering.

“They should understand that it just a temporary thing and the road diversion is for developmental purpose and in development, we have to sacrifice. That not withstanding, the state government will send a delegation to that area to see what can be done to ameliorate the suffering of the residents,” he said.

Contacted the spokesperson of the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, stated that she was not aware of the protest.

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