by Omoleye Omoruyi
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) have decided to stop the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Ekiti State, as two of the unions are in court over a suit by the governor, Ayo Fayose.
A source said the governor, in the suit, accused IPMAN and NUPENG of “economic sabotage” during a face-off with oil marketers in March.
The case has since been withdrawn last week but the national unions of the three bodies are still angry that the government of Ekiti state could take such an action after a peace meeting.
Petrol scarcity is already biting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
A marketer who asked not to be named said: “After the visit of PEDAN in Southwest, the governor said everything has been resolved and settled but we were shocked that he (Fayose) took IPMAN and NUPENG to court accusing them of economic sabotage.
“After that, more filling stations were destroyed along Pathfinder in Ado and in Igede with the owner of the Igede filling station charged to court and remanded alongside six of his kinsmen by government.
[Read Also:] Fuel scarcity looms in Southwest
“These unions are aggrieved that all their peace efforts have failed and they are disappointed with some extreme actions taken by the governor after the parley.
“What is happening in Ekiti now is beyond the local marketers; the national unions have ordered the suspension of fuel supply to the state.
“The implication is that any marketer who smuggles the commodity to Ekiti will be slammed with a six-month suspension and a fine of N1.2 million.”
Another marketer said: “We are being victimized by the Fayose government and this is very unfortunate happening in the week the late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo will be buried.
“I only pity the innocent consumers, motorists, motorcyclists and their passengers who are now suffering for the sin they never committed.
“As we speak, I have three trucks in the depot but they cannot come to Ekiti now because of the order.
“Many of my colleagues are having their trucks stranded in places like Itawure and Akure because they cannot enter Ado Ekiti.
“Although government has withdrawn the case but a letter to that effect arrived the national headquarters of the unions late.
“We need a letter of apology from the state government because we are aggrieved about the court case which we believe was withdrawn because of Adebayo’s burial.
“Those of us selling fuel are the ones still having few consignment but the moment they exhaust them, that is the end and the entire state will witness lockdown.”