Ekiti petrol dealers declare indefinite strike over govt. policy

PETROLEUM product dealers in Ekiti State under the aegis of Petrol Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN) and the National Union of Petroleum, Energy and Gas Workers (NUPENG) have closed their shops in Ekiti State indefinitely following disagreement with some policies of the state government.

Following their action, public transportation activities in Ado Ekiti, the state capital were grossly affected, on Monday, while black market sellers promptly surfaced in the town.

NUPENG and PEDAN said they were angry with Governor Ayodele Fayose for allegedly calling them names while speaking about their activities on a live radio and television programme in the state.

Alhaji Suleman Akinbami, who spoke on behalf of the unions, said they closed shop to protest government’s policy on revocation of certificates of occupancy (CofO) earlier granted to members of their association.

Akinbami, who is the secretary of PEDAN, read a statement by the unions, signed by PEDAN’s Chairman, Owoeye Ayodele, Secretary,

Alhaji Suleman Akinbami and NUPENG Chairman, Jegede Olumide.

They called for the immediate reversal of all the new levies and taxes they said were imposed on them by the state government.

Akinbami said: “I have been in petrol business for 30 years and the first time Ekiti had fire incident was the case of January 8, 2017 at Strive Energy Petrol Station at Ijigbo in Ado Ekiti.

“As I speak with you, victims had been compensated contrary to what the governor said that each of them got as low as N10, 000. About 18 of the victims have received compensations.

“So, we were not even ready to go on strike until when Mr Governor appeared on radio and television on Sunday where he incited the public against us and called us thieves. Is it a crime for us to invest in Ekiti? What have we done wrong to warrant these abuses?

“Apart from the foregoing, we want Governor Fayose withdraw the case against our member and owner of Strive Energy Petrol Station and we want the ban placed on the operation of the station be lifted. We totally reject inciting of public against our members by Governor Fayose and we demand public apology for this.”

They claimed that Governor Fayose had, while appearing on a live programme tagged “The Governor’s Explain”, on Sunday, allegedly labelled petroleum dealers in the state as “extortionists”, who placed premium on profit making at the expense of the wellbeing of the populace.

They insisted that government cannot afford to be punishing his members while also owing them N80m, being supplies made on Diesel and petrol to government by members.

Fayose, who said his government won’t back down on its policies said: “We are not owing them anything. My government didn’t owe them it was Dr Kayode Fayemi’s administration that owed them.

“Let me just ask, why did they wait till they were owed such huge amount of money? I have nothing to pay them because I am not owing them.”