Fuel scarcity has once again returned to Port Harcourt and its environs following the shutting down of operations by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, over disagreement with the Rivers State Government.
Recall that NUPENG and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, on Sunday directed its members to shutdown all filling stations, truck movement and other operations of its members in Rivers State from Monday, 17th February, 2020.
The directive was in protest against the arrest of two tanker drivers and impoundment of about 14 trucks by a taskforce set up by the Rivers State Government to decongest roads and highways within the State.
Checks by our correspondent on Wednesday revealed that most petrol stations in Port Harcourt are under lock, while there are queues in the few ones that are open for business, as a result of panic buying.
When contacted, the Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr. Alex Agwanwor, disclosed that the cause of the action was following the lingering issues between the state government taskforce and the union.
Agwanwor explained his members were still been detained alongside their trucks, regretting that the government failed to implement the outcome of their meeting.
“You are aware of the lingering issue between the government taskforce and the Union. As we speak our members are still in detention and their trucks still seized.
“Let the government release our members and their trucks. We are not after those arrested in illegal business, but those our members who they arrested without due cause.
“We embarked on this action to protect the interest of our members. We understand the plight of the masses which we are part of but, we want social justice for our members.”