Protest by Ipo Community Women Temporarily Grounds Flights at Port Harcourt Airport

Operations at the Port Harcourt International Airport were temporarily halted as a group of women from the Ipo community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State staged a protest, causing disruptions to flight schedules and airport activities.
Clad in black attire and wielding brandished placards with various inscriptions some of which read: ‘What is our offence?’ ‘Over Seven Years of No NEPA Light,’ ‘No single access to mobile network,’ ‘No good access roads within Ipo community,’ among others.
The demonstrators raised concerns over the lack of essential amenities and infrastructure in their locality, highlighting grievances such as the absence of electricity for over seven years, inadequate mobile network coverage, and poor road connectivity within the Ipo community.
Their impassioned display of discontent led to a blockade of the entrance to the airport complex, resulting in a halt to flight operations for approximately two to three hours.
According to sources within the airport, while incoming flights were unaffected, departing flights were unable to proceed as passengers were barred from accessing the airport premises.
The disruption persisted until around 8 am when the gates were eventually opened, restoring normalcy to airport operations.
In a bid to address the grievances of the protesting women, Chairman of the Rivers State Council of traditional rulers, Sergeant Awuse, intervened and assured the demonstrators of proactive measures to address their concerns.
He pledged to personally engage with the airport management team to initiate improvements and development projects within the Ipo community.
Additionally, he proposed the establishment of a joint team comprising members of the airport management to visit the community on Friday.
Following the assurance from traditional ruler Awuse, the protesting women opted to end their demonstration, allowing access to the airport as they withdrew and opened the gates.
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