• Presidency destroying our democracy –Gov
From Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), a regulatory body for petroleum activities in Nigeria, has backed Governor Ayodele Fayose on his recent clampdown on some fuel marketers in Ekiti State.
A DPR official, Mr. Wale Oseni, who led a team to Government House, in Ado-Ekiti, expressed displeasure at the “arbitrary manner in which some marketers sited their petrol stations in the state.”
Oseni, who revealed that his team was already beaming its searchlight into the activities of the petrol marketers, cited a petrol station currently under construction in Adehun Area of Ado-Ekiti, as one of those against its regulations and added that the station in question had failed to inform the DPR of its operation.
Describing the act as criminal, he said the owner tactfully covered up the construction work to keep it away from public knowledge until it was completed. He also said such was unacceptable.
Oseni said retail outlets are not supposed to be cited close to schools and residential areas, “particularly if the schools had been in existence before the filling stations.
“Safety comes first and as a regulatory body, there must be a synergy between the DPR and marketers to know appropriate sites where they would locate their stations. I will in due time make my findings available to marketers in the state.
Explaining the rationale behind his government’s recent clampdown on marketers said to have violated the DPR’s regulations, Governor Fayose disclosed that part of the state government’s efforts was to expose to the DPR, some alleged unwholesome under-dealings being perpetrated by some marketers.
“We took some of the steps to make the DPR see the situation of things here and to afford you the opportunity to see the sites of the controversial filling stations.
“As much as the government would want ventures under its watch to thrive, it will not do so to the detriment of the lives and property of others.
“The last fire incident in the state capital challenged us to be proactive rather than engaging fire brigade approaches.”
According to the governor, the construction of the filling station at the Adehun Area of Ado-Ekiti was stopped by his government because it was being built on waterways, after the last administration had demolished structures on the same land to ensure safety of lives and property.
Testifying to the danger inherent in allowing the said petrol station to be in the area, a woman who has her building beside the Adehun filling station, Mrs Victoria Agunbiade said she had been challenging the owner of the filling station to stop the construction as the lives of the people in the area would be in jeopardy if it was allowed.
Agunbiade, who appealed to the state government to rescue the residents around the petrol station from unyielding marketers, said her house has been in existence in the area for over 30 years and she was not ready to suffer any loss should any fire incident occur in the filling station.
Meanwhile, Fayose, yesterday, urged Nigerians to resist what he described as plans by some Presidency officials to destroy democracy and emasculate the National Assembly.
The governor said the difference between democracy and dictatorship is the presence of the Legislature in democracy and added that efforts by the administration “to handcuf’ the National Assembly is a subtle plot to foist full-blown dictatorship on Nigerians.”
Fayose urged Nigerians to resist such development. “In doing so, we shall be defending our democracy and we shall also be defending ourselves and generations of Nigerians yet unborn. This democracy cost us a lot in blood and sweat. The labour and sacrifice of the heroes and heroines of our democracy must not be allowed to go in vain.” The governor said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi.