Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The strike action embarked upon, on Wednesday, by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), in Anambra State, grounded economic activities in Onitsha, the commercial city.
It was gathered that the strike action was in protest against non-payment of compensation to demolished fuel stations in Awka and Onitsha, respectively, by the state government.
No filling station was opened for business in Onitsha and its environs, which brought hardship to motorists, residents and traders who paid through their nose to get to their destinations due to hike in transportation fare by hundred percent.
The Daily Sun gathered that the price of a liter of fuel sold for between N250 and N350 which made commercial motorists to increase the transport fare to hundred percent, for instance where commercial vehicle normally collects N50 now collects N 100.
A resident of Onitsha who spoke to Daily Sun on the strike Mr. Sam Ibe described the situation horrible and inhuman by the dealers who he said did not give the members of the public notice before embarking on strike to enable the people to prepare, saying that in as much as the IPMAN may be right for their protest, they should consider the plights of the people.
“We came out this morning (Wednesday) to notice that all the filling stations were locked and no fueling station is selling, as am talking to you.
“We learnt that they had problem with state government. The saying that ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffer’, is playing out because it is the innocent citizens of the state that suffer”.
A trader Mrs. Chinwe Odika said that the state government and the independent marketers to ease the suffering of the people by calling off the strike.
“I’m appealing to state government and the marketers to settle their problem, so that the strike would be called off for the benefit of the people. We are tired of suffering, the markers should also have pity for the poor masses.
“They should find a way of settling the matter amicably without hurting innocent citizens of the state. We appeal that the strike should not continue tomorrow,” Odita stated.