By SAMUEL ABULUDE, Lagos
Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and some other parts of the country are still suffering the hardship of the gruelling fuel scarcity that has pervaded the land for some time now.
In Abuja and Lagos, the administrative and economic capitals of the country respectively, our reporters sighted long queues at the few filling stations where premium motor spirit, also known as petrol, was available for sale.
At Lugbe, Airport Road, Utako, Karu and other communities in the FCT, motorists were sighted in very long queues waiting almost endlessly for the product.
Some residents who spoke with LEADERSHIP Weekend said they had been waiting in the queue for a couple of hours while some said they had been there for over five hours.
However, only few filling stations were observed to be selling the product.
One Mr Maduka lamented that they came to queue at a filling station in Karu at 4am but that the attendants, who arrived well before 7am, would not sell the product to the waiting motorists till about 8:30am, adding that by 1pm he was still waiting his turn as the attendants took advantage of the people’s desperation to engage in sharp practices.
Most of the motorist wondered why government would allow the marketers to hoard the much-in-demand product and cause the users much misery at this yuletide without applying punitive measures to dissuade them.
They called on the federal government to do more than mere rhetoric to solve the lingering problem.
In Lagos, residents experienced untold hardship yesterday as the fuel crisis worsened and many major roads in the metropolis were subjected to traffic gridlock, leaving passengers stranded at various bus terminals.
LEADERSHIP Weekend observed that vehicular traffic locked down the city as many motorists groaned at the hardship caused by the lingering fuel crisis which has seen many vehicles throng various petrol stations, causing commotion and traffic squeeze in those areas.
The traffic gridlock which started in the morning around 8am continued on the roads till the time of filing this report.
As it persisted, many Lagos residents had no option than to turn back from their destinations, while others endured the pain of waiting for long hours.
Our correspondent saw many passengers stranded in different suburbs of Lagos- Ojodu-Berger axis of Lagos, Ogba Ikeja and the ever busy Ikorodu road axis.
A motorist named Mr John Olanrewaju, an entrepreneur, lamented his inability to meet the demands of his clients as his car was trapped at a fuel station with long queues and a crowd waiting for their turns to buy fuel.
Olanrewaju who was supposed to deliver some materials by 12pm to his clients in Surulere moaned that the traffic gridlock had hindered him from meeting an important delivery timeline.
“The traffic is huge and pathetic as I had to leave my Toyota Sienna at the fuel station and use public transport. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet my target and I left home as early as 7am,” he lamented.
Hundreds of passers-by were seen stranded in major areas in Lagos and others had to pay through their nose as the transport fare was hiked.
They fear that the situation could worsen despite assurances by authorities that the fuel shortage would not last beyond the weekend.
A Lagos resident told LEADERSHIP Weekend that he had to resort to the use of power bikes to navigate the tortuous traffic situation which paralysed activities in many places within the state in order to meet up with his schedules.
Mr Bode Sulaimon said he paid N2,000 to move from Ojuelegba to Ojota as many tankers had taken over the road while the ongoing Apapa construction made in difficult to move about in other parts of Lagos.
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