Anambra: Sit-at-home 80% compliance with fuel price hike


Anambra: Sit-at-home 80% compliance with fuel price hike

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

The Tuesday sit-at-home order in celebration of Biafran heroes by Indigenous People of Biafran, IPOB, recorded 80 per cent compliance in Onitsha and environs following the sudden shut of petrol filling stations by dealers over the alleged removal of subsidy from petrol by President Bola Asiwaju Tinubu.

As a result, some transporters who wanted to embark on journeys to and from Onitsha in defiance of the sit-at-home order were disappointed as they were not able to procure fuel from the petrol stations.

Only mini markets where perishables are sold were noticed but with little patronage over fear of attack by miscreants who may claim to be members of IPOB to enforce the order even as genuine IPOB members operate under cover for security reasons.

Reacting to the development, a commercial bus driver, Mr. James Okwemgbe, told this paper that what worsened the situation was the President Bola Asiwaju Tinubu's directive hat fuel subsidy has been removed.

"How can he give such an order when we have not recovered from the recent hike in petroleum products especially fuel. The marketers all shut their petrol filling stations on hearing of the order. What it means is that fuel pump price has automatically increased beyond the reach of the poor man.

"During sit-at-home exercise like this one today, we do operate and there will be skeletal services at the filling stations, but this one today, all stations are underlock and key. The roads are deserted to the extent that even tricycle (Keke operators) disappeared from the roads.

"Under normal sit-at-home some Keke operators work from morning to night but today it is a different scenario. The ever-busy Onitsha/Owerri road, Onitsha/Asaba/Benin expressway and the Onitsha/Awka/Enugu expressway were like ghost areas.

"The markets, schools, courts, Banks, offices, local Government  council headquarters, among others were shut completely but if not for this shut of filling stations that resulted in fuel scarcity, there would have been skeletal services despite IPOB sit-at-home order," he hinted..

Also in his contribution, a trader at Onitsha main market who simply identified himself as Chief Paul, lamented that Nigerian leaders both old and young never consider the interest of the majority of Nigerians before embarking on any project.

'It is funny that we are observing sit-at-home but it is not the sit-st-home that takes upper hand now but petrol hoarding that has resulted in the hike of the product. Today I bought from black market #500 a litre and prochured four litres to remove my care off the road.

"The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, please help us. Is it going to be from frying pan into the fire. Just few hours after being sworn in, our suffering continues. Is it not when you have fuel that you talk of movement. So it is not IPOB this time but hike in pump price of fuel," he stated.

"Terrorists or unknown gunmen can't operate without fuel and that is the reason why one has not heard of any attack any where by unknown gunmen. The situation is affecting everybody including the security operatives that patrol the roads on surveillance," he further explained.

At Nkpor junction, where you normally have mini market, Afor Nkpor, Tarzan junction, Afigwe market, Afor Nnobi market, Nkwo triangle Nnewi, Ekwulobia round-about, and Afia Coke, along the Onitsha/Asaba expressway, were all shut as at the time of filing this report.

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