From Judex Okoro, Calabar, Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The long queues at filling stations in Calabar metropolises have continued with a litre of fuel selling between N200 and N300 in some filling stations while black marketers are selling between N250 and NN350 per litre.
Many filling stations on Mayne Avenue, Atu, Palm Street, Anantigha and Mbukpa in Calabar South and Ette Agbor as well as Marian and Murtala Mohammed Highway yesterday, were shut down while few petrol stations that opened had long queues.
It was observed that to buy in jerry cans, a customer must bribe the fuel attendants with N500. As a result of the scarcity of the product, commercial drivers have jerked up their fares by one hundred percent just as many residents and commuters were seen trekking long distances to churches as they could not afford the fares.
Investigations revealed that transport fares within the metropolis which used to be between N50 and N100 is now N100 and N250 depending on the distance just as intra-city and inter-city fares have gone up astronomically.
Meanwhile, residents of Asaba, the Delta State capital, yesterday besieged various fun centres across the metropolis to celebrate Christmas with family members and friends.
This followed early morning service at various Christian worship centres across the capital city to herald the birth of Jesus Christ.
As at the time of filing this report, some middle class citizens and low income earners were making last minute shopping for the celebration at the home front.
Besides, some enthusiastic celebrants had to rush to cooking gas refilling points to refill their gas cylinders.
At the fun centres, including Mandela Gardens at the Asaba Airport, Asaba Mall housing the popular superstore, Shoprite and eateries within the metropolis visited by Daily Sun, fun seekers were seen in large numbers celebrating Christmas.
A civil servant who did not want his name in print described the celebrations as low keyed, noting that the crowds at the eateries were not different from the usual Sunday attendance.
“There is no more to celebrate. What you are seeing here is not different from the usual Sunday stuff after service. Today is supposed to be unique but as you can see, we are not doing anything different.
“The present fuel scarcity has also disrupted the celebration. People cannot get fuel to move around town. At Rainoil filling station, a litre was sold for N180.00. Other places where the product was available, it went as high as N230.00. ‘‘The situation is really out of reach for the middle class like us. But we thank God for keeping us, it is our hope that things will get better,” he said.
Regardless, there was jubilation in Bayelsa State as members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were donating gifts to celebrate Christmas.
Investigations revealed that members of the APC in Brass Local Government Area were elated over the gifts doled out by a House of Assembly member, Israel Sunny-Goli.