Operations at Onne ports in Rivers State on Monday were paralysed on Monday after youths in Onne blocked the entry points to the ports and the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone as they joined in the Nationwide protests by youths to demand the end to the Special Anti-robbery Squad, police brutality and bad governance.
The youths, who stationed themselves at the F.O.T. Junction did not allow any vehicle leave or enter the ports and other adjoining establishments in the area like the Nigerian Naval College, Intels and Prodeco Housing Estate.
Onne is Nigeria’s second largest seaport, which recently began to host large vessels diverted from the overcongested Lagos ports.
The protest led to a traffic jam that along the main artery to the ports as trucks numbering several hundreds formed a long line reaching up kilometres.
However smaller vehicles leaving the ports found their way out through a smaller route in Ekara community.
The protest remained peaceful and several detachments of policemen drawn from Onne, Eleme divisions and the area command kept surveillance at the place.
The youths lamented the excesses of the police, especially the now defunct SARS, who they accused of arbitrarily brutalising, extorting and sometimes killing the youths. “This must end, said Joy White one of the young ladies that took position at the scene of the protest.”
But in addition to the general demands of the Five-over-Five raised by the #endsars protest, Onne youths demanded that they be offered employment, contracts and social programmes by the myriad of companies operating in the Onne zone.
Some of the youths took time off to play football and make meals out of yam and goat they slaughtered at the junction.