A Port Harcourt-based petroleum product dealer, Chief Christian Obi, has called on the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to always adopt dialogue in any misunderstanding.
Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Obi, who is the Director of Mobil Filling Station, Old Aba road, condemned the recent threat of strike by NUPENG.
He advised NUPENG to dialogue because when "NUPENG members go on strike now, they will compound the existing problems".
“They should equally have the feeling of the masses at their hearts. They have brothers; they have sisters; they have relations who are suffering.
“So, for them to go on strike at this particular time that there is no even one single drop in so many stations, it is not advisable at all.
“They should have a rethink and go back to the government and talk about it,” Obi said.
Also speaking, a taxi driver, Mr Chidozie Amah, said that government should create avenues of weakening the stronghold of NUPENG on availability of petroleum products.
Amah said that NUPENG was always abusing its powers and punishing members of the public for every problem the union had.
“Tell me where NUPENG problem with the bank concerns the Federal Government and the masses that they threatened strike action.
“It means that if the Nigerian Medical Association or Academic Staff Union of Universities have problems with the bank, they will blackmail the Federal Government and punish the masses by going on strike,''Amah said.
A motorist on queue at a filling station, Mrs Pat Odinigwe, said that the country was becoming "more stressfull", especially for the women and children.
Odinigwe, a boutique dealer, said that fuel scarcity had brought untold hardship to women who used vehicles for domestic affairs.
“We need fuel to take the children to school; go to market; power our freezers and refrigerators. Even, when we don’t have vehicles, the cost of transportation during fuel scarcity is something else.
“Our husbands will not increase out feeding allowances because of fuel scarcity as their salaries are still the same? So if you complain, the answer will always be ‘please, manage,” she said.
Odinigwe, however, appealed to both NUPENG and the Federal Government to resolve whatever issues they had.
However, most filling stations in the state capital and environs were not selling and the few that were selling were invaded by youths and vehicles.
The youths were acting as touts to prospective buyers and were struggling to fill as many 50-litre jerry cans they had so that they could re-sell at the black market.
In some filling stations that opened, the youths were selling 10 litres of fuel for N2, 400.