ENRAGED YOUTHS ATTACK FILLING STATIONS OVER MARKETERS' STRIKE
Some youths suspected to be political thugs today descended on some filling stations in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state capital, destroying properties worth millions of naira in protest against the continued strike of fuel marketers.
Fuel marketers in the state since Monday, last week, stopped selling fuel to motorists in compliance with the directives of their national bodies to suspend selling of fuel to members of the public.
The leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) had asked their members in Ekiti to stop bringing the product to the state, threatening to sanction any member that flouted the order.
They are protesting a legal action instituted by the state government after both parties had reached an agreement on how to resolve the impasse over the demolition of some filling stations government said were built in residential areas.
Filling stations badly vandalized during the attack included NIPCO, along Adebayo street, Ado Ekiti, owned by Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, who is also the secretary, Petroleum Marketing Dealers in Ekiti state, Tetra Abby Company Ltd, also at Adebayo and its branch along Dallimore street, both owned by a marketer popularly called Ade Bank.
The attackers, armed with dangerous weapons such as axes, cutlasses, bottles, according to an eyewitness, arrived NIPCO as early as 7.10am, and unleashed attack on the filling station.
An official of NIPCO said, "The thugs came in three vehicles. One Hilux van with government's number plate and two mini buses, popularly called 'Akoto'. They were armed with dangerous weapons. We had to scale the fence to escape through the back fence because they were aimed at killing whoever dared to challenge them."
Our correspondent observed that all the 12 dispensing machines at the filling stations were vandalized and their offices not spared. Both glass windows and doors of the building housing their supermarkets and lubricant were also smarched.