All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned lingering fuel scarcity in Rivers state as disruption of petroleum products distribution among key actors under doubtful claims continue to unsettle consumers who can hardly get frequently purchased premium motor spirit, PMS, to buy even as pump price has risen to N400 per liter.
The fuel scarcity that was on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, confirmed by Williams Akporeha, President, Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, as a protest against security operatives’ uncntrolled extortion on tanker drivers and impounding of their trucks has escalated into a fallout of operational conflict between Rivers Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, and aggrieved tanker drivers.
As the stress on Rivers residents lingers for two weeks running and the impact spreading to neighboring state who buy products from Port Harcourt depots, Darlington Nwauju, Spokesman, Rivers APC stated yesterday that the party is shocked by the turn of events.
Nwauju stated, “APC is shocked that Rivers people and businesses have been forced to pay upwards of N700 per litre of petrol from black market traders due to failure of IPMAN to settle its internal leadership issues.
“We call on Rivers State Government not to ignore the people’s hardship and to quickly intervene as any responsive and responsible government would do in order to save all living and doing business in the state.
“This call has become expedient because the cost of living and doing business in Rivers has multiplied geometrically within the last 72 hours. APC believes this situation is worsened by absence of an Energy and Petroleum Resources Commissioner who should have been supervising/handling issues arising from that all-important sector”
Zik Gbemre, Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition said, “What impudence? There is too much ease of group lawlessness in this country. Whether NUPENG, IPMAN, or Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, none of these bodies and members produce or import a liter of fuel. They simply buy from depots and owe a duty to sell to end users.
“When have the suddenly become a law in themselves and a nightmare to society. That for their own selfish quarrels induced by leadership greed, they can take the public for a ride with impunity. I see impunity and a conspiracy to extort. You say you have down tools because security operatives are harassing you one hand and you have internal differences on the other.
“Yet when they open any outlet anytime it pleases them, they dispense product at N400 per liter. My take is that government must be drastic in action in these situation. Revoke the operational rights of these desperado key actors and empower fresh willing investors to take over the business of marketing the products that are supposed to go to them.”