Nigeria: Commuters Stranded As Youth Block Okpella-Okene-Abuja Highway

30 September 2020

Hundreds of commuters were on Wednesday stranded on the ever-busy Okpella-Okene-Abuja highway as hundreds of residents, mostly youth, of Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State blocked the highway while protesting an event in Lagos.

The protest was against an alleged shutting down of Gulf Treasures Limited petrol depot in Lagos owned by an indigene of the town by the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD).

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, described as unlawful the closure of the company's bulk petroleum product storage depot in Lagos owned by Sunday Dekeri, whom they described as "an illustrious son of Okpella community.".

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the company's bulk petroleum storage depot located in Apapa had been shut down since September 24, following a disagreement over union matters.

The protesters blocked the highway, thereby disrupting vehicular movement on the busy highway which left hundreds of motorists stranded.

Kadiri Eshiomomoh, the spokesperson for the protesting residents, said the shutdown of the company amounted to injustice.

He added that the shutdown had led to the cutting off of supply to the company's filling stations across the country.

Mr Eshiomomoh said, "This protest is in solidarity with our illustrious son, Sunday Dekeri, whose company in Lagos was shut down by the Petroleum Tankers Drivers. The protest is to fight against injustice on our son who is from this community. All we are saying is that the PTD should re-open the company so that Gulf Treasures Limited can continue their petrol business."

He also called on the federal government and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers ( NUPENG) to intervene on the matter, without delay so that the company could resume its operation.

"We are calling on the federal government and NUPENG to intervene on the injustice been melted on our illustrious son who has created job opportunities for over 1000 people in the community. We will not accept it and we will resist it," he said.

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