Motorists in Kaduna on Sunday thronged petrol stations to fuel their vehicles as the five-day warning strike directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State begins.
The NLC had on May 10 said it would ground all activities in the state from May 16, as it begins a warning strike over the irregular sack of civil servants by the state government.
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Following the directive, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) also directed its members to shut down services in Kaduna State from May 16.
This development has forced motorists into panic buying of fuel in preparation for the five-day warning strike.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored petrol stations in some parts of the metropolis reports the presence of long queues in most of the stations visited.
Residents were also seen with containers of different sizes at different petrol stations struggling to buy the product.
Some of the petrol stations visited were A. M. Yola Petrol Station, Katsina Road, Mobil Petrol Station, Waff Road, A. Y. M Ashafa Petrol Station, Ahmadu Bello Way, Edi- Jen Petrol Station, Ahmadu Bello Way, among others.
Mr James Audu, one of the motorists at A. M. Yola filling Station, Katsina Road, told NAN that he decided to fill his vehicle tank out of fear that filling stations may not operate from Monday.
“You are aware that NLC is commencing a five-day warning strike in Kaduna state from Monday and you know how critical petrol is to our movement and survival.
“I am here to fill my vehicle tank and a 25 litre container for my generator at home to ensure power supply during the strike days as electricity supply had already been suspended,” he said.
Another motorists, Mr Ibrahim Rasheed, also said that the panic buying of the essential product was necessary to keep businesses going during the strike.
“I am a fashion designer and need power to work. already electricity supply has been suspended, meaning that people like us will have to resort to generator and that cannot happen without fuel,” he said.
The Station Manager, Mr Rayyanu Ahmad, told NAN that they are selling the product because he was yet to receive official directive from the union to suspend services.
“But I assure you we will close down as soon as I receive directive to do so, may be later in the day.
“It will be painful for everyone but we hope for a positive response from the state government at the end of the warning strike,” Ahmad said.
Electricity supply in the state had been suspended since 12 a.m on Sunday.
The management of Kaduna Electric, in a statement, informed its customers that the Transmission Company of Nigeria has knocked off all its 33KV lines in the state in compliance with the NLC directive. (NAN)