Delta, Ekiti Residents Protest Fuel, New Naira Notes Scarcity

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Residents of Ekiti and Delta on Wednesday took to the streets to protest the fuel and naira scarcity that has caused hardship for many Nigerians in recent weeks.

Students of the state university in Ado-Ekiti protested the fuel scarcity-induced hike in transport fares.

The students, who reside in Ado Ekiti and Iworoko Ekiti, said they could not afford the N400 fare to school, which was a 100 per cent increase in transportation fare.

Trouble started when the mini-bus operators plying the school from Ado Ekiti insisted that the N200 fare that was previously charged as well as the sitting arrangement in the vehicles were no longer feasible in view of the scarcity of fuel and the downtime caused by queues at petrol stations.

Dotun Ogunsanya, the President of the Student Union Government who justified the students’ action said, “What you have seen today is a reaction to the change in fare to and from school from N200 to N400 by the commercial transport operators.”

Professor Edward Olanipekun, the Vice Chancellor of the school reacted to the development by declaring three “lecture (physical) free days on campus” effective Wednesday.

The vice chancellor said that the school management would use the opportunity to meet with the transport operators in the community in order to resolve the issue.

The Head of EKSU Directorate of Corporate Affairs, Bode Olofinmuagun, said, “The lecture-free days were declared in view of the present national fuel crisis which has resulted in an astronomical hike in the transport fares, thus making it difficult for many of our students and staff to come to the campus.”

In Delta State, angry youths, human rights activists, motorists, and traders barricaded Asaba-Onitsha Expressway in Asaba, the Delta State capital, protesting the fuel and new naira notes scarcity.

The protesters demanded sanction for bank managers in the state for hoarding the new naira notes and urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) and the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to prevail on the fuel marketers to find an urgent solution to the protracted scarcity.

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