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Angry Ekiti youths destroy filling stations over fuel scarcity

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Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti

Angry youths on Tuesday attacked some filling stations in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, destroying properties worth millions of naira to protest against non-availability of petrol in the state,

There had been no sale of petroleum in Ekiti since last week owing to the face-off between fuel marketers and the state government.

The state government recently pulled down some filling stations under construction for being near residential and school premises, saying they constituted danger to lives and property.

This led to a face-off between the government and fuel marketers.

The state government had sued the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Petrol Tanker Drivers Association and Petrol Dealers Association of Nigeria, and six of their members.

It was learnt that the national leadership of the unions were infuriated that the state government still dragged them to court after a peace parley with Governor Ayodele Fayose.

The governor had alleged on Monday that the decision of the fuel marketers to stop fuel supply to the state a few days to the burial of the late military governor of the old Western Region, Maj.Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (retd.), was politically motivated and done in conspiracy with the opposition to frustrate the state burial.

But the state secretary of PEDAN, Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, had maintained that the group’s members were not informed by the national leadership of the unions about the reason for the stoppage of petroleum supply to the state.

As early as 7am on Tuesday, the youths, under the aegis of the Ekiti Youth Artisans Coalition, took to the streets, demanding the relocation of some petrol stations out of the state since they had refused to sell petrol to the people.

They were aggrieved that the situation had paralysed economic activities in Ekiti.

Displaying placards with various inscriptions, the youths visited some petrol stations in Dalimore and Adebayo areas of the state to express their anger against the marketers, and vowed to continue with the mass action.

The protest, however, turned violent as some hoodlums attacked some filling stations.

Filling stations badly vandalised during the attack included NIPCO, located along Adebayo Street owned by Suleiman Akinbami; Tetra Abby Company Ltd, also in Adebayo area and its branch along Dallimore Street, both owned by a marketer popularly called Ade Bank.

The attackers, armed with weapons such as axes, machetes, bottles, according to an eyewitness, arrived at NIPCO as early as 7:10am, unleashing an attack on the filling station.

Fayose, on Tuesday, urged the rampaging youth to desisit from violence.

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