Motorists and road users across major roads in Benin metropolis were on Tuesday stranded due to protests over the state government’s clampdown on all unregistered vehicles. The government is also enforcing the prohibition of the use of commercial vehicles not painted in Edo State colour.
Traffic in the affected roads, including Benin-Sapele road, Ugbowo-Lagos road, Ikpoba Hill among other adjoining roads, were brought to a halt by the aggrieved drivers for several hours, forcing commuters to trek long distances to their destinations.
The drivers complained that the ultimatum given by the government to paint their vehicles to the state colour code was too short, considering the difficult economic conditions confronting the citizenry.
The protesters further lamented that the rainy season was not the right time for them to spray their vehicles to the state colour code for taxis.
The Edo State government had recently said that from August 1, 2022, it would begin a clampdown on all unregistered vehicles across the state, urging operators to register their vehicles so as to avoid prosecution.
Philip Shaibu, Edo State deputy governor, while acting as governor, said the directive became imperative following the need to sustain security in the state because the recent security findings have revealed how criminal elements use unregistered vehicles to operate.