The leadership of a human rights organisation, Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network, has urged the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, the Department of State Services, the Department of Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies to wade into the hike in price and adulteration of petroleum products in Akwa Ibom State.
The State Director of CHRAN, Otuekong Isong, said this while unveiling the state executives of the organisation at Watbridge Hotel and Suites in Uyo on Friday.
He lamented that these agencies had continued to remain silent on the sufferings of Akwa Ibom people, as marketers have pegged the price of fuel at N300 even with adjusted meters.
Isong, who stated that apart from the hike in pump price of fuel, his office had received reports of many fuel stations selling adulterated petrol which has resulted in damage of fuel pumps and engines of many vehicles in Akwa Ibom State, urged the DSS to extend the ultimatum it gave to marketers in Abuja to revert to government approved pump price to Akwa Ibom State and ensure that the ultimatum is complied with by petroleum marketers in the state.
While urging the DPR to do more in the area of monitoring the filling stations to ensure that they are not dispensing in adjusted meter or adulterated products, he further called on the Special Assistant to the Governor on Petroleum Matters, Mr. Victor Etefia, to “live up to his responsibilities” on ensuring that marketers comply with the government prescribed price, even as he wondered why no filling station had been sealed off or sanctioned for flouting government’s directive.
He said, “Where did we get this fuel price increase from? why are we buying a litre of fuel in Akwa Ibom at N300 and above? I cannot understand where this is coming from. The pumps in most areas are adjusted and the fuel itself adulterated and nobody is doing anything about it.
“CHRAN is using this medium to call on the SSA to the Governor on Petroleum Monitoring, Mr Victor Etefia, to rise to the occasion and address the people of the state on the matter. Let’s know why we are getting fuel at N300 and above per litre, what is the cause of it? Let’s know why the pumps are adjusted, we want to know why we are getting adulterated fuel in Akwa Ibom?
“Recall that in the days of former SSAs, they used to monitor filling stations to know what is happening there and any erring station would be sealed off. We are also calling on DPR a subsidiary of NNPC whose duty it is to check the malpractices of petrol stations to come to Akwa Ibom State to see what is happening here.
“We are calling on the DSS that issued ultimatum to marketers in Abuja that they should revert to the official pump price because this particular increase, is economic sabotage. We are asking the DSS in Akwa Ibom why they have not gone to check the pump price in the state? We are suffering, we are calling on the state government, the SSA to Governor on Petroleum Matters, the DPR, and the DSS to intervene as the suffering is untoward.”
Speaking on the lined up of activities of the newly inaugurated executive of the organisation, Isong said it would organise a town hall forum for all the governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom State, where each candidate would speak about his blueprint and how he intends to implement it, if elected as governor of the state.
He also hinted that CHRAN would monitor and track all projects executed at the local government levels by the 31 council chairmen before their exit in order to know how the local communities were faring and draw the government’s attention were necessary.
“We are going further to look at the local government and see how the communities are faring so also we will be doing with the House members. You can’t stay at the comfort of your home to know what the government is doing, rather we have to go to the field. So CHRAN is going to give a good balancing to government because the state governor cannot be everywhere at the same time, all we need in the state is good governance.
“We want the candidates during our town hall forum to speak on their manifesto and explain how they will implement the programmes and manifestoes,” he said.