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Fuel Scarcity: RSG Seals Two Filling Stations …As PPPRA, PPMC Warn Against Panic Buying

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President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), cutting the tape to inaugurate the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation in Abuja yesterday. With him are Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Sen. Lawan Ahmed (left) and the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura.

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), cutting the tape to inaugurate the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation in Abuja yesterday. With him are Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Sen. Lawan Ahmed (left) and the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura.

The Rivers State Government yesterday sealed off two filling stations, Oando and Conoil, in Eleme Local Government Area of the state for allegedly hoarding petroleum products.
Rivers State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Hon Okey Amadi, who announced this said the filling stations, apart from hoarding petroleum products, were also involved in fraudulent meter adjustment.
Hon Amadi, who expressed disappointment at the attitude of some marketers described the acts as economic sabotage, and warned that any filling station found hoarding products or adjusting their meters would be made to face the full weight of the law.
The commissioner advised members of the public to desist from panic buying and inform his ministry of any station embarking on such illegal practices.
He warned those hoarding and storing petrol in their houses of the consequences.
By hoarding petrol in your house you can cause wide spread fire outbreaks that can take lives and you can never imagine the level of damages to properties’, he said.
He also advised landlords and neighbours to be part of the campaign against storage of petrol in their homes because they might be affected irrespective of whether they are innocent or not.
He restated that normal supplies were coming to the state from the refineries, adding that the supplies from tank farms complement supplies from the refineries.
However, our correspondent who visited some filling stations in Port Harcourt and its environs reported that most filling stations were not selling while long queues were seen in the few ones selling.
From the entrance gate of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Nkplou, Port Harcourt, to Education Bus Stop on the busy Ikwerre Road only two filling stations (Chindah Oil and Conoil) were selling while the rest were locked up.
Mr Ejike Ozmene, a businessman told The Tide that he spent three hours at a filling station along East-West Road and that at last the fuel got exhausted before it got to his turn.
At Total Filling Station, near Kampala Busstop along Ikwerre Road, a supervisor who identified himself as Mr Service said, “we don’t have product”.
He said virtually all major marketers do not have supply except some independent marketers who are managing to sell”.
At Conoil Filling Station, motorists and petroleum users were scrambling to purchase fuel with queues of vehicles and jerricans stretching to Udi Street.
An attendant who declined to mention his name said, the company paid for the product since 24 January and was only getting product today (yesterday).
The situation was not different at Aba Road, Chidi Nwakanma who was interviewed at Eternite Oil said for over two weeks, they have not got any supply and do not know when the station would get supply.
Chairman of Abali Park branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Chief Bethel Dappa said, “our members now struggle to get fuel and where they get, they pay between N120-N140 per litre.
“It is obvious that if the situation persists, commercial drivers would be forced to increase fares”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) says the reappearance of long queues at filling stations across the country is artificial and uncalled for.
The PPPRA spokesperson, Mr Lanre Oladele, told newsmen yesterday in Abuja that there was no basis for the scarcity currently being experienced.
Oladele said that there was enough stock to keep the country going for days, adding that with the release of allocation of licences to marketers for the first quarter of 2014, there was no reason for the fuel scarcity.
He described claims that the scarcity was due to the delay in the release of import allocation to marketers as false and unfounded.
Oladele said the last allocation was enough to sustain the market till when the next allocation would be released.
He said contrary to insinuations by marketers that their allocations for the third quarter of 2013 expired on December 31, 2013, they actually covered transactions up to January.
Oladele staid that the allocation was usually done in such a way that it would overlap into another quarter, to make provision for any exigency.
According to him, the marketers create the impression that allocation has been delayed for over one month and they engaged in hoarding of the products to create false impression.
He advised Nigerians not to engage in panic buying, adding “what we have is artificial scarcity, we have enough stock to keep the nation wet for days”.
Chris Oluoh

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LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’

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The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.

Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.

Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.

The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.

Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.

 “What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.

“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”

The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.

Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.

Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.

“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.

“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”

Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.

An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.

“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.

 “The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.

“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.

“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.

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Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”

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Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today

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All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.

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