Fuel scarcity has hit Owerri, capital of Imo State following the refusal of oil marketers to dispense the product to customers.
This is even as the state government has described the action as illegal and suspicious.
On Monday evening, fuel stations were locked up, an action many thought would be cleared by yesterday.
However, the queues have resurfaced even as residents have resorted to carrying jerry cans in search of fuel.
Sources told LEADERSHIP that the strike by oil marketers was as a result of the alleged refusal of the state government to obey a court judgement on payment of compensation to their member whose filling station at Orlu was demolished by the Senator Rochas Okorocha’s administration.
Already the information commissioner, Hon Declan Emelumba in a statement maintained that the action was suspicious as the judgement was hidden and neither was any form of dialogue established with the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led administration.
Emelumba said, “The petroleum marketers have made desperate efforts to hoodwink tanker drivers to stop the supply of petroleum products to the state by midnight of Monday August 23rd, obviously using the influence of the affected member who was once a tanker driver himself. Why should the marketers succumb to involving the Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria (PENGASAN), in a local affair that has nothing to do with that association? This clearly suggests that there are other motives behind the planned strike. The petroleum marketers must therefore be mindful of being dragged into a strike they do not know its full motive”.
According to him, the judgement has already been appealed against by the state government adding that the strike action amounts to self-help, which is totally illegal, by law.
He said, “Having submitted himself to the rule of law, the affected person ought to wait for the ruling of the higher court before proceeding on any further action. It therefore goes without saying that the planned strike action by petroleum marketers in Imo State is prejudicial to the extant case and therefore subjudice”.
The information commissioner stated that the strike action is an affront to the law even as he regretted that the timing was wrong.
Meanwhile, the government has admonished those planning the strike to respect the law in the interest of peace and economic wellbeing of the people.