Fuel Hoarding: The Political Implications
Fuel is a highly political commodity, the scarcity of which breeds mass discontentment, causing people to lose confidence in government. Fuel is crucial to the livelihood of the masses and therefore its shortage endangers public welfare. Whenever there is fuel scarcity, fuel and transportation cost is skyrocketed much to the disadvantage of the masses who end up blaming the government of the day.
Therefore, any well-meaning government must try as best as possible to institute drastic measures to discourage fuel hoarding which creates artificial fuel scarcity, thereby giving the ruling government a bad name. The ruling APC government must move fast to crack down on the massive fuel hoarding now taking place in especially Bo and Kenema where unscrupulous and unpatriotic business people have taken to the criminal habit of buying and hoarding petrol, particularly, selling it on black market at cut throat price.
The massive petrol hoarding that now characterizes Bo and Kenema, especially, is primarily responsible for spasmodic appearance of petrol queues in the two cities where petrol is now being sold rampantly on the black market, with the police doing little to arrest the ugly situation. We have gathered that in Bo, unlicensed and illicit petrol dealers now sell right at the petrol station at Mobil, by so doing, undermining the the business of the licensed and legal petrol dealer there. Sometimes, police officers in Bo and Kenema raid the illicit fuel dealers but end up releasing them without charging them to court. This has emboldened the illegal fuel dealers to be carrying out their business all over the place with impunity.
In Bo, the recent Easter Holiday was tarnished by fuel shortage and its attendant petrol queues where bike riders and drivers scrambled for fuel while the illegal fuel dealers took advantage of the situation, selling petrol at very high cost. Transport fares, consequently, soared, inflicting more financial burden on travelers. In public interest, we are calling on the Bo and Kenema police to clamp down on the fuel hoarders and illicit fuel dealers and prosecute them to the letter to discourage them from continuing to exploit our poor people.
Government must also play its part by putting more severe penalties in place for fuel hoarders and illicit fuel dealers who are contributing immensely to the erosion of people’s confidence in the ruling government. If the fuel hoarders and illegitimate fuel dealers are allowed to operate with impunity, they will definitely succeed in projecting a very negative picture of the ruling government. So, government must act now before it is too late.
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