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PRESS RELEASE

Desist From Exploiting Imolites, Group Urges Oil Marketers

….Supports government’s efforts at restoring sanity
The Global Association of Concerned Imo Youths (GACIY) urges the Independent Petroleum Marketers to stop the exploitation of Imo people by their members occasioned by artficial scarcity which has led to hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the State in the last two weeks.
As a group we view this development as gross wickedness and insensitivity on the part of oil marketers who are selling the false narrative of fighting the Government when they are actually enriching themselves by criminally selling above the stipulated price of fuel as announced by the Federal Government.
One would ask, how does one fight the Government by unleashing hardship on the people and enriching oneself by hoarding fuel?
It is shameful that a group that approached a court seeking favourable justice will turn the table to unleash wickedness and evil to the people simply because the State Government opted to appeal the judgement of the lower court. It is an aberration. Status quo should have been maintained by the Oil Marketers pending the judgement of the appellate court.
We suspect the action of the oil marketers is politically motivated, because we find it strange that someone who volunteered to approach the Court on what he believed was injustice against him and subjected himself to the processes of court will turn around to reject another person’s right to approach the court. This is brigandage taken too far.
To further confirm that the owners of the fuel stations in Imo are chasing shadows, Ebere links and Cocean Fuel Stations in Owerri have since the cruel practice started maintained the official price of a litre of fuel at N165. In other words, what Imolites have been subjected to is nothing short of inhumanity that has greatly enriched owners of fuel stations in Imo State. This cruel oil marketers are feeding on the blood of hard working Imo people.
There is no national fuel scarcity. What we are suffering in Imo is artificial fuel crisis created by independent petroleum marketers in the State ostensibly to punish Imo State citizens.
To further underline the deliberate fight against Imo citizens, the group finds pleasure in selling to black marketers and the public at night.
Again, to mark their callousness, they don’t have a fixed price. A fuel station at Amakohia would sell a liter at N250 while another at Akwakuma or Okigwe Road would go for N350 for a liter.
We, as a group, therefore, join other well meaning individuals and groups to call on NNPC, DPR and other petroleum products regulatory agencies to immediately enforce sanity and sanction all those dealers perpetrating irregularities, hoarding and profiteering petrol products thereby causing untold hardship to motorists and residents who scramble to fill their tanks and buy fuel to power their generators.
In the same vein, we encourage Imo government to go all out and employ any measure within the framework of the law to deal decisively with these Shylocks, including setting up a Taskforce with tactical support from DPR to force petrol stations hoarding fuel to open and adjust their price to the official N165 or be sealed. Stories have it that fifth columnists are behind the ugly development in Imo to spite the state government but we hold the view that there should be an end to such madness. We agree with the thoughts of an Imolite, Mr Norbert, who took his vexation to social media: “If the marketers want to go on strike, let them shut down completely rather than hide under a so called court judgement to further suffer the masses by creating an artificial scarcity and thereby hiking the pump price. This cannot be any other thing than a complete act of callousness.”
GACIY is glad that the Governor on Sunday said the Government “will not allow filling stations to charge innocent citizens 300 Naira a litter by way of black market” Said the Governor: “By [Monday] morning, I will set up a taskforce to go round not only to seal filling stations, but to arrest whosoever is there because this government is not complacent”
We find commendable the resolve of the Governor not to sit back and allow petroleum marketers to create artificial scarcity and be selling fuel through black market in the night.
“Henceforth, any filling station selling black market,  no matter the owner will be sealed up and such company blacklisted”.
Signed:
Kizito Duru
(Director of Contacts and Mobilization – DCM).
September 13, 2021.

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