Motorists recount ordeals, losses due to adulterated fuel | Dailytrust

Motorists recount ordeals, losses due to adulterated fuel

 Adulterated fuel was established to be responsible for the engine breakdown of this vehicle. A new engine was bought at N380,000. 		         Photo: Tijani Labaran
Adulterated fuel was established to be responsible for the engine breakdown of this vehicle. A new engine was bought at N380,000. Photo: Tijani Labaran

It was a nightmare for motorists across Nigeria when adulterated fuel was sneaked into the country almost four weeks ago. The action had caused a stir when many vehicles began to breakdown and vehicle mechanics mostly diagnosed fuel pump replacement. 

As motorists lament the cost of repair to their damaged vehicles, pedestrians were equally affected when it resulted in hike in transportation fare.

In Jos, the Plateau State capital and Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, our correspondents gathered that many had packed their vehicles and aborted their programmes for weeks while others had grudgingly spent unbudgeted cost to fix their vehicles. Most of the victims, our correspondents gathered have not been compensated because they never complained to the fuel stations where they purchased the adulterated fuel.

A motorist who resides at the Low-Cost area of Jos, Paul Jatau, said he was forced to change his vehicle fuel pump twice. Jatau, who recounted his ordeal, said he bought N2,000 fuel from a filing station around Tudun-Wada Ring Road in Jos and a day later, topped his tank at another filing station in Farin Gada, Jos. Thereafter, he said, his vehicle started to jerk. He said after changing his fuel pump, the new one had equally been damaged and he was advised by his mechanic to empty the fuel tank and replace the fuel. He said he could not tell which fuel station had sold the adulterated fuel to him and so had just concentrated on fixing his car without contemplating any compensation.

 

Another victim, Elisha Kasuwa, who resides in Vom area of Jos South Local Government area of the state, said he bought fuel worth N5,000 from a filling station and instantly, his car could not start. He said he was forced to leave the vehicle at the station until the next day when a mechanic diagnosed the problem.

“The next morning, the vehicle was emitting white smoke when the mechanic tried to start it, which prompted a suggestion to empty the fuel tank followed by a new fuel pump,” he said.  

Andrew Ajijah, a journalist in Plateau, said he was equally a victim of the adulterated fuel when his car began to jerk shortly after purchasing fuel at a private fuel station along Tudun-Wada Ring Road.

Ajijah said he had tried to use ‘purified’ fuel to dilute his adulterated one but it did not work and he had to consult a mechanic. “It was discovered that the plugs were soaked and the mechanic then disposed of the fuel and the nuzzle was thoroughly cleaned,” he said.

Commenting, Chairman of the NTA Park in Jos, Ibrahim Maikudi, said all his members took precaution against falling victim of the adulterated fuel menace owing to the fact that they quickly enlightened their members about the situation and told them to be very careful and watchful too.

For motorists at Ganaja motor garage in Lokoja, Kogi State, it was a period they’d live to remember as many of them said they were forced to park their vehicles for fears of mechanical breakdown as adulterated fuel found its way into the state.

According to Usman Idris, a driver at Ganaja garage, a colleague of his who came from Lagos had his bus affected, saying it started emitting unusual smoke and his fuel pump was suddenly damaged.

He said it was discovered that the fuel he bought at Ibadan while returning was adulterated, adding that “his vehicle is still at Ikanekpo, as the complication was later discovered to have affected the vehicle engine. He needs a new engine for his vehicle to move,” he said.

According to Ismaila Abuh at the Wada mega park in Lokoja, the adulterated fuel burns fast, and it will not dry up the combustion chamber. “As such, it knocks down the engine within the shortest time. Those who shuttle interstate were the most affected,” he said.

Recalling his ordeal, a senior civil servant in Lokoja, Gabriel Babatunde, said while returning from Abuja, his vehicle had stopped at Abaji as a result of adulterated fuel he bought at Gwagwalada after attending a conference. “My car is still in Abaji, a mechanical engineer said they have to bring down the engine to see the extent of the damage. I have no money to fix the car as at now,” he said.

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