There was mid-drama today in Benin as protesters broke into the venue of a meeting where acting President Yemi Osinbajo was meeting with stakeholders in Edo state on Monday, disrupting the entire programme.
The meeting, which is a negotiation interface with the oil producing communities in the region, was disrupted after Usani Uguru, minister of state for Niger Delta, finished speaking.
Not even the attempt of Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, to calm the aggrieved individuals yielded any result, as they continued waving placards.
The protesters were allowed to speak their minds, and they requested that the acting president leave Benin, for oil producing parts of the state.
A protester, who represented Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), said they had already prepared their region to receive the acting president, but were told he could not come due to security reasons.
“If you cant come to our place, leave our oil alone,” he said.
Another protester said the region was not feeling the impact of the ministry of Niger Delta like other states in the region.
After these speeches, Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, said the reaction of the people show the nature of Edo people.
Obaseki said the people of the state love to express themselves, but they do so in a peace-loving manner.
“We have issues like any other group in Nigeria, but at the end of the day we know how to resolve our issues,” he said.
When it was his turn to speak, Osinbajo explained that he did not shelve the visit to the oil producing communities over insecurity, but that the closure of the Abuja airport contributed to the development.
He pacified the people, saying though he may not visit all the communities, the oil producing region should be expecting him.
He expressed happiness for being in Edo, and told the people that he had come to have a first-hand experience of things happening in the state.
Last year, a similar incident happened in Akwa Ibom state during a townhall meeting organised by the federal government.
It was Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, who facilitated the process through which normalcy was restored.