Protest Hits Enugu As Residents Protest Hike In Fuel Price, Scarcity Of New Naira

Protesters in Enugu

By NewsBits

Residents of Enugu Wednesday took to the streets protesting increase in petrol price and scarcity of new naira notes in banks. The protesters said the filling station owners kept increasing the prices daily while others hoarded the product.

A correspondent, who monitored the development, observed that the protest, which began along Gariki and Agbani Road in Enugu South Local Government Area within Enugu, capital of Enugu State, hindered the vehicular movement of people going to Old Park and New Market in Enugu North Local Government Area.

The protest also spread to Ogbete Market, Ogui Road, New Haven, Zik Avenue and Independence Layout, thereby forcing owners of shops and some offices to shut down temporarily (within the period of the protest) to avoid possible looting and destruction.

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The protesters were seen discharging passengers from incoming buses as a way of forcing them to join the protest while private vehicles put green leaves in their cars in solidarity. It was observed that many filling stations in the Enugu metropolis are now selling a litre of fuel between N450 and N500 while some others were closed.

Some drivers said the suffering they were going through to get the product was too much for them, stressing that something needed to be done urgently to salvage the situation. A tricycle rider, Emeka Ugwu, said the incessant increase in fuel pump price was no longer acceptable, noting that filling station owners/ marketers took Nigerians for granted.

“How can we buy fuel N400 yesterday and today it has risen to N500? And we, the motorists, are saying no to impunity. By tomorrow, if they do not return to the normal price, we will give out their fuel to people free of charge,” he threatened.

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Another driver, who gave his name as Emmanuel, said they were expressing their anger over certain anomalies in the state. He said, “If you want to buy fuel, they will tell you to use Point of Sales (POS) whereas, the queue is much and if you go to the bank, you will spend the whole day before it will get to your turn”.

Chidiebere Njoku, another motorist, called on governments to make the product available and appealed to oil marketers in the state to start selling their products to alleviate their plight.

He added, “If I buy fuel at N500, how much will I tell the passenger I am carrying to pay?” A trader, Obiageli Chikwelu, said she could not buy her wares due to a lack of cash, adding that bank apps were not working due to network problems.

The chaos forced many filling stations, shops, and offices to close to avoid destruction. Meanwhile, police operatives were seen in New Haven trying to prevent the protest said to have been piloted by tricycle operators from escalating or being hijacked by miscreants.

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