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Petrol shortages sweep Nigeria as stations run out of fuel, scarcity paralyses states

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Motorists across Nigeria are struggling to find Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol as filling stations run dry.

From Lagos to Sokoto, gas stations are turning away customers as tanks tap out amid panic buying.

The crisis caused by the adulterated petrol imported into Nigeria about two weeks had led to a hike in the cost of the commodity in many states, as black marketers of the PMS also cashed in on the development.

Nigeria average retail PMS prices have risen to their highest since late 2015 due to the disruption.

In Abuja and parts of Niger and Nasarawa, for instance, black marketers sold petrol for as high as N6,000 for 10 litres, translating to N600 per litre.

The cost of transport fares skyrocketed nationwide, and many small businesses were grounded due to the inability of the owners of the ventures to access petrol to run their activities.

Meanwhile, oil marketers also restated on Wednesday they were making moves to start blending the adulterated PMS since the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had yet to recall all the contaminated products.

The NNPC had stated on Tuesday it was working hard to address the situation, as it noted that over 2.3 billion litres of PMS would arrive in the country between now and the end of February 2022.

This, it said, would restore sufficient volume and above the national target of 30 days.

“As of today, the NNPC has over one billion litres of petrol in stock, and the PMS being dispensed today at the various filling stations in the country is safe,” the oil firm said in a statement issued in Abuja.

But despite the NNPC’s promises, the queues across the country persisted and the cost of petrol continued to rise above the official rate of N165/litre.

In Ogun State, residents and traders in Abeokuta and some parts of the state lamented the hardship experienced over the scarcity of fuel in the state.

Most of the filling stations in the capital and its environs were either shut to customers or increased the pump price of the commodity.

Many residents and traders complained that they could not carry out their business activities due to the scarcity, which also forced an increase in transport fares and commodities.

In Kwara State, the scarcity paralysed economic activities in Ilorin, the state capital, as most commercial and private vehicles were off the roads with many commuters stranded.

The few filling stations that dispensed fuel were jam-packed by motorists in Ilorin, as transport fare increased by about 300 per cent for intra-city transportation, while inter-city fares doubled.

In River State, the scarcity of petrol in Port Harcourt and other parts of the state caused a sudden rise in transport fares, leaving many commuters stranded.

Findings by our correspondent on Wednesday showed that petrol sold for N250 per litre in some filling stations, while long queues were seen in the few outlets that dispensed products.

As a result, fewer vehicles were seen on the roads, while commuters were seen trekking to their destinations.

In Plateau State, the scarcity that resurfaced in Jos in the past one week persisted and grew worse on Wednesday with many motorists and residents lamenting the situation.

Findings also showed that the price of the product had increased to between N175 and N200 per litre in the few filling stations that had the products.

Many commuters were also stranded on various roads, as a result of very few available taxi drivers plying the routes.

A motorist, Giwa Johnson, said he spent over eight hours in the queue trying to buy fuel at a filling station along the Yakubu Gowon Way in Jos, describing his experience as terrible.

In Bayelsa State, the fuel scarcity also hit several towns and queues grew at filling stations around Yenagoa, the capital city, and its environs on Wednesday.

Checks indicated that the shortage of petrol had occasioned an increase in the pump price of petroleum products in the state.

Some of the petrol stations along the ever-busy Mbiama-Yenagoa Road and the Isaac Boro Expressway did not open for business on Tuesday and Wednesday, as consumers suspected that they might be hoarding the product.

A few black markets were, however, sighted along the Isaac Boro Expressway selling a 10-litre jerrycan of fuel for N2,000 and 20 litres for N4,000.

In Benue State, the fuel scarcity continued on Wednesday as black marketers took over the streets of Makurdi, the capital city.

Our correspondent who went round the major areas of the state capital reported that most fuel stations had no product to dispense. At Jenny, Gabrow and Rain Oil located within Makurdi metropolis, long queues were observed, while some other fuel stations were under lock and keys.

A motorist, who simply identified herself as Charity, said she had been on the queue at Jenny filling station for two hours and had yet to get the product at the time she spoke to our correspondent.

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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MC Oluomo allegedly demands N100million to support re-election of Oshodi Rep member

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Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, is allegedly demanding N100 million to support the re-election of the member representing Oshodi Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu.

Dawodu, a medical doctor, rode on the back of MC Oluomo to win the election in 2019 after series of attempts in the past.

Dawodu presenting his Certificate of Return to MC Oluomo

Both, however, fell apart few months after Dawodu was elected due to irreconcilable differences .

MC Oluomo is said to be angry with Dawodu for not honouring agreements he (Dawodu) had with him prior to his victory in 2019.

MC Oluomo, who is seen as de-facto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshodi was said to have vowed to work against Dawodu’s re-election in 2023.

He is believed to be working for the emergence of a former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Afeez Ipesa Balogun to emerge as the APC’s candidate for the House of Representatives election in the constituency.

However, party leaders in the local government including the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Oloyede Almoof had appealed to MC Oluomo to tone down his opposition to Dawodu and support his re-election.

It was gathered that MC Oluomo did not turn down the fence-mending approach because he said he did the same with Oloyede who was his former arch-enemy.

It was further gathered that MC Oluomo demanded N100 million from Dawodu before he gets his support.

The money according to MC Oluomo is to settle his aides and loyalists, who supported Dawodu in 2019 but were abandoned by the Rep member.

According to sources at the various fence-mending meeting, appeals to MC Oluomo to reduce the amount were rebuffed.

Another dimension has, however, been added to the involvement of Oloyede in the matter.

The sources revealed that the council chairman, Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own interest.

Oloyede has been eyeing the Rep seat before his election as the council chairman.

Oloyede’s calculation according to the sources is that should Dawood gets the second term, it would be easy for him (Oloyede) to contest for the seat in 2027.

One of the sources who does not want his name in print because of backlash said : “Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own personal interest. He believes supporting Dawood may work for him in 2027.

Continuing, the source noted that Oloyede would rather support Dawodu over any other candidates because others eyeing the seat are first timers, who may want to seek for re-election in 2027.

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