Hundreds of commuters on the ever busy Okpella-Okene-Abuja highway were on Wednesday left stranded as residents, mostly youths, of Okepella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, trooped out in their hundreds to over the 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 closure of the company’s bulk petroleum product storage depot in Lagos owned by Mr Sunday Dekeri, whom they described as “an illustrious son of Okpella community”.
The company’s bulk petroleum storage depot located in Apapa, Nigerian Tribune gathered, had been shutdown since September 24, following a disagreement arising from the imposition of union executives on the company drivers by the management.
The protesters blocked the highway, thereby disrupting vehicular movement on the busy Okpella -Okene-Abuja-Highway as hundreds of motorists were stranded on the road.
Spokesman for the protesting residents, Mr Kadiri Eshiomomoh, said that the shutdown of the company amounted to injustice, adding that the shutdown had led to the cutting off supply to its filling stations across the country.
“This protest is in solidarity with our illustrious son, Mr. 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 insisted.
Eshiomomoh 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 have created job opportunities for over 1000 people in the community. We will not accept it and we will resist it,” he said.