Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase has given a direct order of arrest of any black market petrol vendor for justifiable reasons of fire outbreaks, a danger to lives of innocent citizens.
The IGP’s order extended to the Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIG), FCT’s and other state commands’ Commissioners of Police (CP); to arrest anybody found selling petroleum products in plastic containers. He explained that the order became imperative following untold suffering and hazard emanating from the activities of black marketers.
Arase noted that the act has led to fire outbreaks, thereby rendering many people homeless. His statement through the Police Force spokeperson, Olabisi Kolawole, in Abuja, says:
“Apart from the hardship this act is causing to fuel buyers, it has also rendered some innocent and law-abiding citizens homeless due to fire outbreak from jerry-can petrol storage.”
The IG of police, while warning fuel attendants at filling stations to desist from selling petrol inside jerry-cans or to black market vendors and plastic containers, added that the buyers and the sellers of the products, if caught, would be arrested and prosecuted. Fuel products such as petrol are highly inflammable, he noted, and if not stored and handled properly, can seriously endanger people, property and the environment.
Arase, who assured Nigerians of Police readiness to fulfill their constitutional mandate, solicited for a cordial relationship between the Force and the citizens. This new order will obviously become controversial since it will affect not only black market petrol sellers, but citizens as well.
From observations, most commercial car and bus drivers prefer the black market as a ‘quick’ medium to purchase petrol. “Time na money”, they would say, so to avoid long fuel queues, they follow the easy way out.
Furthermore, just recently, BuzzNigeria interacted with a bus conductor about the price of fuel which allegedly has been reduced to N86 per liter, at every NNPC filling stations, the man told me that he couldn’t buy fuel at the station because the attendants insisted they only sell to government workers at the said price.