Former secretary of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Mr. Ayo Opadokun, has blamed the recurrent fuel scarcity in the country on alleged prolonged misrule by successive military governments in the country.
Speaking at a colloquium organised by a sociocultural organization of Offa indigenes of Offa local government area of Kwara state, the Galaxy Clique in honour of late
Chief Josiah Sunday olawoyin in Offa on Tuesday, Opadokun decried the current fuel scarcity in the country.
In the lecture, titled: “Offa in Yoruba History, the former NADECO scribe, who also blamed the fuel scarcity on over dependence on importation of the premium motor spirit (PMS) into the country, suggested outright ban on importation of fuel into the country to put an end to perennial fuel crisis in the country.
“I must confess to you, I am extremely sad, weakened but I know it to be a cumulative effect of the prolonged misrule of the military over Nigeria. When Buhari was there as the military Head of State, the refineries that were built none has been since the ones he built.
The population was not as large as this, the vehicular movement was not as large and wide as this. Since then what has happened, those who took over from him had totally ravaged Nigeria. What they needed do, they did not do. How on earth will a sane people in government construct the policy on home construction of domestic fuel on importation.
“I was part of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) team that did sufficient research, we went abroad to Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE Venezuala to found out how much it costs to mine one litre of crude oil. Nigeria’s own is the most costly oil in the world and then what are they doing now.
“Each time, the independent marketers go ahead to buy at world market so Nigerians are subjected to the vagaries of world market crude oil prices. What has happened in the last three, four months, is that because the government was not willing to add more money to their profit, they said they will not import.
“So the NNPC has been importing the totality of fuel being used in Nigeria. But because we have been used to a system where fuel tanks are being built independent marketers, they made that unavailable and impossible for the distribution to go seamless. That is the cause of the crisis.
“The solution I thought it should have happened 20 years ago, that Nigeria ought not to be importing fuel. Everything must be done to change that fuel importation. It is a show of shame by the successive people in governance that we are still importing fuel.”
Lending his voice, Chairman of Galaxy Clique, Offa, Muideen Ibrahim said: “It is a shame, sad and disheartening that a country that is producing oil and is the one of the largest producers in the world, cannot get oil. The timing of the fuel crisis is what really saddens me. Many people could not travel for Christmas, even those of us who came from Lagos, we bought fuel at the rate of N400, and N500 per litre. It is not a good omen that this point in time, during festive period that there would be fuel crisis.
“It is shameful that we are still importing fuel. What they need to do is to get it right. The turnaround maintenance on the refineries should be genuine and not cosmetic approach. We cannot continue to wait until Dangote does its own in 2019. Do not forget that that one is purely commercial oriented. I think government should do something as a matter of utmost urgency to turn around the refineries and ensure that fuel is made available to everybody so that Nigerians can be happy.”
Speaking on the Offa history, Mr. Ibrahim said “we are neither in the north nor in the south. So people in government if they want to appoint a minister, they will ask you are you a Yoruba.
“We deserve to be grouped with Yoruba as our culture is towards Yoruba. We are being disadvantaged, educationally, infrastructural development, socially. We are at disadvantage state .if they give us our own state we will be in the better position to champion our cause.
Your destiny lies in your hand and once you are given a state, it will accelerate development. If they give Ibolo kingdom a state and Offa is the capital.”