[su_dropcap]C[/su_dropcap]hristians in the 19 northern states and Abuja under the aegis of the Northern Christians Association of Nigeria on Sunday told President Muhammadu Buhari that the lingering fuel crisis in the country had increased Nigerians’ suffering, Punchng report.
Meanwhile, reports say petrol sold for N500 per litre in parts of Plateau State, leaving many streets in Jos and Bukuru metropolis virtually empty on Easter Sunday.
According to the northern CAN, it has been all pain and hardship for many Nigerians since the product became scarce, lamenting that many Christians were denied a fun-filled Easter Sunday due to the fuel crisis.
The spokesman for the northern CAN, Rev. John Hayab, told one of our correspondents in Kaduna on Sunday that the Federal Government should ensure availability of the product.
Hayab criticised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, for saying that fuel scarcity would continue until May.
The northern CAN chief said the Easter celebration would be worthwhile if the current pain and suffering caused by the fuel crisis in the country was immediately tackled.
The group called on the government to redouble its efforts to find a lasting-solution to the persistent fuel scarcity in the country, adding that “it has never been as bad as this.”
Hayab added, “What we are saying is that government is meant for the people and as such government should redouble its efforts to reduce the pain inflicted on the average Nigerians by the fuel scarcity in the country.
“The way and manner Nigerians queue for fuel in the face of this hardship is unacceptable to the leadership of northern CAN.
“Northern CAN wants government to earnestly do something urgent to avert this ugly situation before it gets out of hands.”
He urged the public to reciprocate government’s efforts by supporting the current administration in its bid to move the country forward.
Hayab said the group considered the statement credited to Kachikwu as unguarded, saying that the majority of Nigerians voted for the All Progressives Congress to change their lives.
Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had said the fuel scarcity could not be eliminated with a magic wand.
However, the northern CAN said such a statement should not have come from an agent of change which, he said the APC represented. The body called on the President to caution his ministers against unpopular statements. Many churches witnessed low attendances as fuel scarcity crippled Jos and Bukuru.
The situation was compounded by the ban on the roadside sale of petroleum products by the Special Task Force on Security in Jos.
One of our correspondents observed low traffic on the road as residents stayed indoors because of unavailability of vehicles to commute them around the cities. Most fun spots were also empty.
However, there was a heavy security presence in the streets. Apart from ensuring peace, the security officials also raided black market operators in line with the directives of the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Tagbo Ude.
There were long queues at petrol stations even where there was no fuel.
One motorist, who simply identified himself as Mark, said he had left his car for two days at the filling station hoping to get some litres of fuel.
One of the operators of the NNPC Mega stations told one of our correspondents that his station had not got supplies for the past one week.
The spokesman for the task force, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, said the STF was not interested in arresting anybody, but only ensuring that they stayed off the streets as directed by the commander.