The Kano State branch of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), on Tuesday, began an indefinite strike over alleged harassment of its members by personnel of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
The chairman of the PTD, Alhaji Sa’idu Al’amura, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.
Al’amura said the associations found it necessary to embark on the strike in order to express their concern over the alleged incessant harassment and arrest of their members while on their way to filling stations; even within Kano metropolis.
“Currently, there are five trucks impounded by the customs operatives for over one month,” he alleged.
Al’amura said the association had also directed its members in five other states in the Northwest to join the strike, until when the issues between them and the Customs Service is resolved.
He listed the affected states as Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara.
The chairman said that during the strike no member of the association would transport Petroleum products to filling stations across the six states in the zone until their demands of releasing the impounded vehicles were met.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Kano/Jigawa Customs Area Command, Mr Danbaba Isah confirmed that five tankers were arrested for alleged diversion of the petroleum products from Kano to Faggo town in Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina State.
According to him, the product is supposed to be supply to filling stations in Kano metropolis and Kura town in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State, but were found near Daura in Katsina State.
Isah said after investigations one of the tankers was released because it was transporting fuel to a contractor who is handling a road project in Jigawa State.
He said four suspects were still in detention and would soon be charged to court after investigation.
“The drivers are aware of the recent order by the Federal Government that no fuel tanker should supply petroleum products 20 kilometres to border areas; that was why they were arrested and the vehicles impounded,” he said.
Meanwhile, residents of Kano have expressed fears over the strike by the PTD and NARTO.
A cross-section of the residents told NAN in Kano on Tuesday that the strike action could cripple social and economic activities in the state if it continues.
One of the residents, Alhaji Bashir Abdullahi said the stand-off could bring back the era of fuel scarcity in the state and other neighbouring states
They also called on the warring parties to ensure amicable resolution of the crisis to avert fuel scarcity in the state. (NAN)