Human rights organisation, Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network, CHRAN, has raised the alarm over the hike in the price of fuel in Akwa Ibom State.
It called on the Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, the Department of State Services (DSS); the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other relevant agencies to wade not only into the hike in price but into the adulteration of petroleum products in the State.
The State Director of CHRAN, Otuekong Franklyn Isong who made the call during the inauguration of the state executive of the organisation at Watbridge Hotel and Suites in Uyo on Friday regretted that these agencies have continued to keep blind eyes on the sufferings of Akwa Ibom people as marketers have pegged the price of fuel at N300 even with adjusted meter.
Comrade Isong lamented that apart from the hike in pump price of fuel, his office has been inundated with reports of many filling stations selling adulterated petrol which has resulted in damage of fuel pumps and engines of many vehicles in the State.
He 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.
The CHRAN State Director also urged the DPR to up its ante in 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 Governor Udom Emmanuel on Petroleum Matters, Mr. Victor Etefia to live up to his responsibilities on ensuring that marketers comply to government prescribed price even as he wondered why no filling station has been sealed off or sanctioned for flouting government’s directives, recalling that previous Special Assistants to the Governor on Petroleum Matters were known for sealing off erring stations which in turn brought sanity into their operations in the State.
He queried, “where did we get this fuel price increase from? why are we buying a litter of fuel in Akwa Ibom 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.
Speaking on the lined up of activities of the newly inaugurated executive of the organisation, Isong said it would organize a town hall forum for all the governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom State, where each candidate will talk 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 are faring and draw government attention to where neccessary.
Our correspondent reports that the newly constituted Exco and members of CHRAN, Akwa Ibom Branch include, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, State Director; Comrade Akanimo Atang, Deputy Secretary; Barr. Aniekan Akpan, Director of Legal Matters; Prof. Ini Akpabio, Director of Research & Documentation; Dr. Iniobong Nda (Mrs), Director of Event & Planning; Pastor Ita Udoh, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Comrade Emmanuel Udoatta, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Mrs. Eunice Thomas, Director of Civic Education & Re-Orientation; Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, Director of Healthcare Services.