Residents of border communities in Ogun, Lagos, Adamawa, Katsina and Sokoto states are groaning following the Federal Government’s suspension of fuel supply to areas within 20 kilometres to the nation’s borders.
On Thursday, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, had directed that no petroleum products should be supplied to any filling station within 20 kilometres to the borders.
(1) Investigations showed that the government’s order had triggered fuel scarcity and hike in the prices of petroleum in boarder towns and beyond.
(2) Also, at the Seme border in Lagos on Monday, there were fuel queues as only two filling stations were selling fuel.
(3) Again, many filling stations had been shut within 20 kilometres to the border by the Federal Government’s task force on border closure.
(4) Travellung long distances to buy fuel.
“Can you imagine buying a litre of fuel at the rate of N600? Before we can get fuel for N145 in Ipokia, we will need to go to Owode, which is 28 kilometres away. We don’t know what we can do to survive.
“Before the Federal Government’s order, they (security agents) used to take bribes from marketers before allowing them to export fuel to Benin Republic. Now that the Federal Government has stopped supply of fuel supply to border communities, we are the ones suffering. Artisans, even medical personnel, are the ones suffering.
(5) One person dies in Ogun.In Ipokia that one person died following the inability of a hospital to get fuel to power a generator to perform a surgery on the deceased.
“As I am talking to you, to power generators in hospitals at Idiroko is difficult. Ihunbo, Ilase, Ajegunle, Idiroko, Agosasa and other towns in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State are affected. There was a patient that died this afternoon (Monday) just because there was no electricity to power machines for medical examinations.”
(6) The task force, which comprised soldiers, immigration officers and other security operatives, commenced the implementation of the policy in the area on Sunday. But some members of the task force have been accused of highhandedness…They brutalised people they met at the filling stations.
“Everywhere was deserted as if the Federal Government had declared a curfew. Fuel is even not available at the black market. People are lamenting and complaining of the situation.”
On the alleged harassment of the people by the security agencies, Akinola said, “The security agents are harassing people. We cannot go out of this local government. If we are coming from Owode with five litres of fuel, they will harass us.