The citizen in the fuel crisis

Frustration at the filling station.

Frustration at the filling station.

Sir: Like in recent times, again one has had to wonder about our sense of humanity with regards to the present fuel crisis nationwide.

One has been monitoring the worrisome fuel situation and the repeated assurances from the relevant authorities of the deliberate and untiring efforts to normalise the situation, which call for concerted efforts from the citizens as well.

But one thing bothering one’s mind is, how and through what route did we traverse to this pathetic and inhuman state whereby we take delight in the suffering of the generality of our people for personal interest, or to put it in proper perspective, to make money.

One has seen, received calls, sms and even read in the online and traditional media of petrol stations hoarding and selling fuel above the official rate of N86.50k per litre and engaging in all sorts of sharp practices at the detriment of the people who have had to bear the brunt of this scarcity both physically and psychologically.

Recently, the media was awash with how the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a security arm of the Lagos State police command arrested the manager and accountant of a petrol station, near Otedola bridge, at the end of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Lagos State who refused to dispense fuel to queuing motorists, but was rather selling in kegs and jerry cans at a price far above the official price which has become the norm in most filling stations these days.

This time around, Nigerians should assert their rights for a better country by whipping these law breakers into line by monitoring and ensuring that they report fuel stations that engage in practices inimical to the health of the citizens and economy to the appropriate authorities and other agencies of state in order to complement government efforts to restore normalcy to an already tensed and stressed situation.

We can no longer afford to sit on the fence, allowing the fuel crisis to linger despite government efforts, because we are the ones bearing the brunt.

We need functional and responsive communication channels from the security agencies, NNPC and its subsidiaries like the PPMC, NPMC, DPR, etc in order for the citizens to play their roles of complementing government’s efforts of restoring sanity at the fuel stations nationwide.

•Nelson Ekujumi,
Lagos



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