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Fuel scarcity mars celebrations in Enugu, hoodlums disrupt Ebonyi rally

By Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and Charles Otu (Abakaliki)   |   02 May 2017   |   4:40 am  

Petrol stations of major marketers were however under lock and key, even as a liter of petrol was sold at N300 in the black market. PHOTO: GOOGLE.COM/SEARCH

The large turnout of workers that was usually the hallmark of May Day celebrations in Enugu was missing yesterday in what was attributed to scarcity of petrol in the state.

Scores of workers, who were billed for the celebrations at the Michael Okpara Square, could not turn up as the fuel scarcity bit harder with a few independent marketers who have the products selling at between N200 and N210 per liter.

Petrol stations of major marketers were however under lock and key, even as a liter of petrol was sold at N300 in the black market. Checks revealed that petrol tanker drivers failed to supply products to Enugu since last Thursday over a disagreement with the National Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) that led to the burning of a fuel tanker and filling station at Abakpa Nike area of Enugu.

It was gathered that the tanker loaded with fuel which escaped an NSDC checkpoint had crashed as it was being pursued by its officials. The fallen tanker had ignited a fire that consumed the filling station. The development had angered the leadership of the tankers union, which called on their members to stop supplies to Enugu.

The workers had pleaded with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to intervene in the situation and save them from further hardship. Ugwuanyi, who addressed the workers after their rally, had expressed gratitude to them over the industrial harmony between the government and organised labour.

Although he said that it would have been difficult for his administration to provide dividends of democracy without their support, he pledged his readiness to continue to serve the state with the fear of God.

“The achievements we have recorded so far are as a result of our collective efforts. Enugu State is peaceful. We are enjoying industrial harmony,” Ugwuanyi said.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) asked the governor to implement the enhanced salary-Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) – for health workers.

The labour unions noted that implementation of the CONHESS, which has been overdue would stem the brain drain in the state’s health sector. They appealed to the governor to take a critical look at the matter and ensure that CONHESS was implemented as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, armed bandits yesterday disrupted a rally organised by a faction of the NLC to commemorate worker’s day in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital forcing many to flee the venue of the rally.

The Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor-led faction of the NLC had staged its rally, which was massively attended by the members of some affiliate unions loyal to him at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) where it presented the address of its National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba to the workers.



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