The protest caused a five-hour traffic jam
Motorists and commuters plying the old Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway were, Thursday, subjected to hours of delay, following protests by residents of Itori community in Ogun State.
The residents were protesting the killing of seven secondary school students in Itori by a granite-carrying truck on Wednesday.
Travellers on the road were stranded for about five hours as protesters barricaded the highway in protest against the killing.
The protesters, comprising students, youth, market women and residents, blocked the expressway with disused tyres and other objects, forcing motorists to make a U-turn.
While chanting war slogans, the protesters claimed that casualties in the accident had risen to 17. They also alleged that the ill-fated truck was towed away overnight by unknown people suspected to be agents of the state government.
Following the development, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Mamman Tsafe, had to temporarily relocate to the area to ensure the situation did not escalate.
However, armed policemen and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, who were drafted to the scene could not help the stranded commuters as the security agents were apparently overwhelmed by the teeming protesters.
The AIG, who arrived the scene alongside the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, embarked on repeated appeals to the people.
The protesters later resorted to raining invectives on security agents, who subsequently used force to disperse the restive crowd.
About five hours later, normalcy returned to the scene, allowing for free flow of traffic.
The Itori Unit Commander of FRSC, Fatai Bakare, while speaking to journalists maintained that only seven students died in the accident while two others were hospitalised.
He denied the complicity of his agency in the towing of the ill-fated truck, adding that he could not confirm the whereabouts of the vehicle.
“Nine people were involved, out of which seven died and two injured,” Mr. Bakare said, while blaming the incident on the recklessness of the driver of the truck.
In his own remark, the AIG said he had to relocate to the area to ensure that normalcy returned after restive youth embarked on protest.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, during his visit to the scene of the accident, sympathised with the families of the victims and assured them that the state government would support them in their time of grief.
Mr. Amosun also restated the need for pedestrian bridges to be constructed in the state to forestall similar occurrences.
The governor directed that the survivors, who were initially admitted at the General Hospital, Itori, should be transferred to Abeokuta for proper medical attention.