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Fuel Scarcity Hits Port Harcourt

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Residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and its environs are currently experiencing fuel scarcity as long queues have returned to filling stations.

Our correspondent observed that the scarcity started around 3pm on Monday when fuel dealers decided to close majority of the filling stations in the state capital.

It was gathered that the fuel dealers closed shop due to speculations that the main depot in Port Harcourt was no longer distributing fuel.

The sudden closure of the filling stations caused a long queue at the popular Mobil filling station at Waterlines, along the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway as motorists had a tough time before they could purchase Premium Motor Spirit.

Though the filling station was selling at the normal price of N145 per litre, some motorists had to wait for over an hour before they could purchase fuel.

One of them, who identified himself simply as Chinonyerem, said he could not find fuel at other filling stations inside town, adding that he had to join the queue when he noticed that the Mobil filling station was selling the commodity.

“I don’t know what the cause of the scarcity is, but it is good to notice that they did not increase the fuel price here (Mobil filling station). I have been here for over one hour. I know I will get fuel before I leave here,” Chinonyerem said.

As of 10am on Tuesday morning, most of the filling stations were still locked up as the owners refused to sell, hoping that the scarcity would force an increase in the pump price of petrol.

At the Karibi filling station on Iwofe Road in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, fuel was sold at the normal price as the queue continued to build up.

A commercial tricycle rider, who identified himself simply as James, told our correspondent that the scarcity was as a result of the rumour that the depot in Port Harcourt was no longer distributing fuel.

“Immediately the rumour got to these fuel dealers, they began to close their filling stations. The few ones that opened did not believe the rumour. That is what is causing this scarcity,” James stated.

When contacted, the Media Officer, Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company, Ikenna Okpani, said he was not aware of any fuel scarcity, adding that there was no reason for dealers to close their fuel stations.

“I am not aware that there is any fuel scarcity. There is no reason for such because from our end here, we are producing,” Okpani said.

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Man Stabs Wife’s Suspected Lover to Death in Ogun

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Men of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested a 35-year-old man, Habeeb Kasali, for allegedly killing his wife’s suspected lover, Bamidele Johnson.

Kasali was reported to have used a pair of scissors to stab Johnson several times in his chest, eye and neck, which led to his death.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Oyeyemi said the suspect killed the deceased based on suspicion that he was having an affair with his wife.

According to the PPRO, the suspect was arrested following a complaint by a relation of the deceased at the Igbesa Police Divisional Headquarters.

Oyeyemi stated, “The complainant informed the police that a fight ensued between the suspect and the deceased at the Totowu area, when the suspect confronted the deceased with the accusation of having an affair with his wife despite several warnings from him.

“In the process, the suspect used a pair of scissors to stab the deceased several times in his chest, eye and neck as a result of which the deceased lost consciousness.

“He was immediately rushed to the Crest Hospital on Isuti Road, Egan, Lagos State, where he was confirmed to have been brought in dead by a doctor.

“Having realised that the victim had died, the suspect took to his heels, but the DPO, Igbesa Divisional Headquarters, SP Abayomi Adeniji, quickly dispatched his detectives to go after him and he was eventually arrested from where he ran to.

“The corpse of the deceased has been recovered and deposited in the Ota General Hospital mortuary for autopsy.”

Oyeyemi added that the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.

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Catholic Priest Celebrating Mass Collapses, Dies in Rivers

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Tragedy struck in Rivers State on Sunday as the parish priest of the Saint Helen’s Catholic Church, Ogbogoro, Rev. Fr. Simeon Kuro, slumped and died while celebrating the Mass.

The incident, it was said happened while Kuro was delivering the homily on the church’s altar in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The middle-aged priest was later rushed the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital by members of his congregation, but he could not be resuscitated by the medical personnel as he was declared dead by doctors.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, toldSouthern City News that the priest collapsed shortly after concluding the homily around 10am and was rushed to the UPTH around 10.30am, but was pronounced dead around noon.

The source said, “I can confirm to you that the priest of St. Helen’s Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Simeon Kuro, collapsed today (Sunday) after the homily.

“He was rushed to the UPTH around 10.30am, but was declared dead by a doctor around noon. It is a sad situation.”

A source at the UPTH confirmed the incident.

When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, said he had not been able to confirm the incident from the Divisional Police Officer covering the area.

When contacted, the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt, Rev. Fr. Francis Tete, said he would not be able to speak on the incident immediately.

He, however, told our correspondent that he would speak only after clearance from the authorities.

“I can’t give you any statement at the moment. Maybe when I talk with the authorities tomorrow (Monday), I will tell you something,” Tete said.

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Coronavirus, Lagos Explosion and Buhari’s Silence

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By Eric Elezuo

As calls continue to stream in for President Muhammadu Buhari to give hope to the Nigerian people by giving a presidential broadcast as regards two events that have ravaged the country in the last one week, silence has remained the answer.

On February 27, 2020, the country recorded its first positive case of the dreaded Coronavirus virus which has held the world down in the last 90 days, putting the people under real tension for the first time since the disease broke out on December 31, 2019. The virus was brought into the country by an Italian whose identity has remained shrouded in secrecy until yesterday when he was declared negative and fit to reintegrate into the society. And ever since, 12 more positive cases have been recorded; in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti.

Nigerians have therefore chided the President for failing to address the nation like his counterparts across the globe. Presidents of countries like Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe Canada, united Kingdom, United States and others have addressed their nations. But Buhari has kept mum since the outbreak of the pandemic.

As the call continued to reverberate, an incident of great magnitude took place at Soba community, Abule Ado area of Amuwo Odofin, Lagos. A pipeline was supposedly said to have blown up causing great havoc, destroying property and wasting lives. Many described it as as novel as it has never been seen or witnessed before in the history of the nation. One week after, the President has remained silent. Rather, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has to take the pictures of the incident to Buhari in Abuja to inform and show him.  He did not visit the scene, bringing to remembrance Lai Mohammed’s statement in 2011 thus:

“A President that is not too busy to receive all manners of people in Aso Rock has not deemed it fit to embark on a quick trip to a state as strategic for all Nigerians and the nation’s economy as Lagos, after such a state was hit hard by a natural disaster. Even if the President and his advisers did not understand the symbolism of such visit, they could have taken a cue from what obtains in other climes.”

Lending their voices to the people’s call, the Senate advised the President to as a matter of urgency address the Nigerian nation on the matters on ground, but instead of heeding, the Presidency lashed out at the lawmakers, berating those who called on Buhari to address Nigerians in a television broadcast.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement described such calls as nothing but cheap politics. He saw it as an attack against the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The statement read in part, “We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress. North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation.

“In this regard, populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of ‘complacency’ simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational. These are not the times for populism and cheap politics.”

Shehu said accolades should rather be given to Buhari for removing N20 from the price of petrol. Imagine the cheek!

President Buhari has had a history of silence in matters of urgent national importance, staying away from the public. It is on record that the only time the president has consistently addressed the nation was during the presidential election campaign. And of course, they were for political gains.

In reality, Buhari’s address will have no effect on the country as not many looked forward to drawled speech full of mispronounced words. But like the Minister of Information will say, he just take a cue from what is obtainable in other climes.

 

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