Residents of Nsukka town and environs peacefully protested on Friday over the shutting down of filling stations by their owners without explanation.
Over 2000 protesters, mainly motorcyclists, tricycle operators, and other concerned residents, blocked the busy Nsukka Total Roundabout, which resulted in gridlock.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that roads affected by the blockade included University, Odenigbo, and Enugu roads.
The protesters threatened the filling station owners to open their stations and start dispensing gasoline to the public or risk having their stations set ablaze.
According to Mr. Mike Ume, a protester, fuel is now being sold on the black market for N1,000 per liter as a result of the closure of the filling stations.
“I joined this protest because I believe all of us are suffering the same thing, and the owners did not give any reasons for the closure.
“People are sleeping in banks to get redesigned Naria notes that are scarce, and now petroleum marketers want to close their stations to add to our suffering?”
“What it means is that they want the residents and their families to die of hunger,” Ume said.
Another protester, Mr. Samuel Ezema, said the protest was not planned, explaining that a few of them, tricycle operators who could not see anywhere to buy petrol, started protesting before other residents joined in.
“We have no leader in this protest because it is not a planned protest.”
“This protest is to reject the sale of a liter of gasoline by black marketers at N1,000 because marketers closed their filling stations.
“Those in authority should remember the poor people in this country who are suffering on a daily basis,” Ezema said.
Mrs. Felicia Ugwuoke, a passenger in one of the vehicles stranded because of the protest, begged the protesters to open the roads and allow motorists to pass.
“I know what they are protesting is in everybody’s interest, but they should not block roads,” Ugwuoke said.
NAN reports that the timely intervention of police officers from Nsukka Divisional Police Station helped prevent the situation from getting out of hand.
As of the time of filing this report, a team of police officers were still patrolling the area.
A manager in one of the filling stations in Nsukka town, who pleaded anonymity, however, said the owner of the filling station instructed them not to open the station today because marketers in the area would be holding their meeting.
Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to share and subscribe!