• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Anambra: Sit-at-home records 80% compliance amid fuel price hike over subsidy removal

South-East bleeds N4trn in 2years over insecurity, sit-at-home protests

The sit-at-home order on Tuesday in celebration of Biafran heroes by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) recorded 80 percent compliance in Oniitsha and environs was worsened by the sudden shut down of petrol filling stations by dealers over the announced removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola 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 were opened 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, James Okwemgbe, told our Correspondent that what worsened the situation was the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s directive that 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 under lock and key. The roads are deserted to the extent that even tricycle (Keke) operators disappeared from the roads.

“Under normal sit-at-home order, some Keke operators work from morning till 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 cities.

“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 said.

Read also: Scrap ministry of Niger Delta affairs, Kalu tells Tinubu

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 order but it is not this that takes upper hand now but petrol hoarding that has resulted in the hike of the product. Today, I bought from black market N500 a litre and procured four litres to remove my car 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 said.

All the markets at Nkpor juction- the mini market, Afor Nkpor, Tarzan juction, 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.