Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has given owners of petrol stations in the state 24 hours to begin to sell fuel to the people or have their Certificate of Occupancy revoked.
The governor’s ultimatum was in reaction to the acute fuel scarcity which has nearly crippled the state’s economy.
Since last Monday, filling stations in the state stopped selling fuel to motorists, in compliance with the directives of the leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD), which ordered their members in Ekiti to stop bringing the product to the state.
The marketers embarked on indefinite strike over what they described as “open victimisation of members by Governor Fayose.”
The drivers and artisans, who marched from Fajuyi area via Ojumose to Old Garage, claimed that they were the worst hit by the fuel stations’ closure, appealing to the recalcitrant oil marketers to refrain from being used by the opposition against Fayose.
They were led by the Chairmen of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Clement Adekola and his counterpart in Lorry and Pick-up Transport Association of Nigeria, Adekunle Atowoju.
Adekola said: “We are for peace in Ekiti and the only way to sustain peace is for all of us to work with the government of the day. Let the oil marketers dialogue with government and if they cannot do it alone, they should contact other unions for speedy arbitration.
“The drivers and artisans are badly affected. Most worrisome is the way police has been maltreating our members who used to buy fuel from Ondo, Osun and Kogi states. They stopped them at checkpoints and dehumanised them; this must not continue.
“Let me also reiterate this, this protest is going to be a continuous one and if the oil marketers refuse to allow fuel to flow, we will move against them. We suspect that they have been bought over by opposition to destabilise Fayose’s government. We believe that their resolve not to sell fuel during General Adeyinka Adebayo’s burial was purely political.
“They are not politicians and if they are interested in contesting election, let them wait till 2018 when the governor’s tenure will lapse,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Ekiti youths, on Tuesday, protested against petroleum marketers’ refusal to supply fuel to petrol stations in the state.
As early as 7:00am, the youths, under the aegis of Ekiti Youth Artisans Coalition, took to the streets in their thousands, demanding the “relocation of some petrol stations out of the state since they have refused to sell petrol to the people.”