By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Oil marketers have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government (FG) threatening to embark on a strike and shut down all depots across the country if their outstanding debts totalling N800 billion in subsidies, are not paid.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) appealed to both the oil marketers and FG to iron out their differences in order to avoid fuel scarcity during this yuletide.
According to the director of MURIC who signed the statement, Professor Ishaq Akintola, “Yuletide is a sensitive period. This is the time most Nigerians choose to travel to their cities and villages in order to cement family ties. It is not the right time to allow fuel scarcity.
“We appeal to FG to do everything within its power to ensure that oil marketers do not carry out their threat. Unlike in the past, this administration has been able to ensure smooth supply of fuel. There have been no queues in petrol stations across the country. We appreciate this feat. But we are saying it should not be allowed to happen. Fuel scarcity causes lots of inconvenience for ordinary Nigerians”.
MURIC said it issued a warning about the likelihood of an attempt to cause artificial fuel scarcity towards the end of the year. “We warned about this in our press release dated 29th October, 2018.
“Our exact words on that occasion were, ‘November is just three days away today and these agents of darkness must be somewhere now plotting to disrupt the smooth flow of supply and distribution. Their main objective is to discredit the government of the day particularly now that the 2019 election is just a stone’s throw away. It is therefore necessary for FG to watch out from now on. Another attempt may be made to cause artificial fuel scarcity. Those behind the move do not care about the common man. They do not care about hundreds of citizens who will be stranded on the roads as a result of fuel scarcity or the average Nigerian car owner who will be compelled to spend hours at fuel stations’.
“We therefore appeal to FG to avert another fuel scarcity particularly in the interest of ordinary Nigerians who may be caught in the crossfire as transport fares are most likely to skyrocket.