The Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose through his special assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka on Wednesday gave Ekiti State Petrol Stations 24 hours ultimatum to begin the sell of fuel to the people or have their certificate of occupancy revoked.
The statement was made as a result of the withdrawal of services by the petrol dealers in the state, since last week Monday, which has created acute fuel supply in the state and nearly crippled the economy. Earlier on Wednesday, an amalgamation of transport unions, had trooped to the streets, accusing the dealers of being allegedly propelled by the opposition.
The unions also issued 24 hours ultimatum to the oil dealers to return to work or face the wrath of Ekiti populace, whom they said were badly affected by the halt of fuel supply to the state. Ayodele Fayose The unions said if stand of the government is to safeguard life and property, “we will stand by the government.” Fuel marketers in the state had since Monday last week 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 victimization of members by Governor Ayodele 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 Governor Ayodele Fayose.
They were led by the Chairmen of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Com Clement Adekola and his counterpart in Lorry and Pick-up Transport Association of Nigeria, Com 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 can’t do it alone, they should contact other unions for speedy arbitration.
“The drivers and artisans are badly affected. Even most worrisome was the way the police had been maltreating our members who used to buy fuel from Ondo , Osun and Kogi States. They stopped them at checkpoints and dehumanized 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. Atowoju accused the marketers of being allegedly prodded by opposition to take on the government over flimsy issue.
“All over the world , there are rules regulation guiding where fuel stations are located. The last fire incident at Strive Energy petrol station in Ijigbo in Ado Ekiti destroyed multi-million property and no compensations were given to the victims. Must this continue? “There are problems of economic recession, unemployment and general disillusionment in Nigeria and our oil marketers should not aggravate our sufferings here in Ekiti,” he said.