The many residents of Nsukka town, Enugu State, South-East Nigeria on Friday, stage a protest.
They protested against the closure of petrol stations by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the area.
Protesters claimed that the owners shut down their stations without providing any explanations or reasons to the public.
The Nigerian police operatives later dispersed the protests and prevented the protesters from freely expressing their grievances.
More than 2000 protesters, mostly motorcyclists, tricycle operators, and concerned residents, blocked the busy Nsukka Total Roundabout, causing gridlock in traffic.
University, Odenigbo, and Enugu roads were among those affected by the blockade.
They threatened filling station owners with setting fire to their stations if they did not open their stations and begin dispensing gasoline to the public.
Mr Mike Ume, a protester, said that as a result of the filling station closures, fuel was now being sold on the black market for N1000 per litre.
“I joined this protest because I believe all of us are suffering the same thing, and the owners did not give any reasons for the closure.
“People are sleeping in banks to get redesigned Naria notes that are scarce, and now petroleum marketers want to close their stations to add to our sufferings?
“What it means is, they want residents and their families to die of hunger,” Ume said.
Another protester, Mr Samuel Ezema, said the protest was not planned, explaining that few of them, tricycle operators, who could not see anywhere to buy petrol started protesting before other residents started joining in.
“We have no leader in this protest because it is not a planned protest. This protest is to reject the selling of a litre of petrol by black marketers at N1,000 because marketers closed their filling stations.
“Those in authority should remember the poor people in this country who are suffering on a daily basis,” Ezema said.
Mrs Felicia Ugwuoke, a passenger in one of the vehicles stranded because of the protest, begged the protesters to open the roads and allow motorists to pass.
“I know what they are protesting is for everybody’s interest but they should not block roads,” Ugwuoke said.
The intervention of policemen from Nsukka Divisional Police Station later disrupted the protest.
As at the time of filing this report, a team of policemen were still patrolling the area.
A manager in one of the filling stations in Nsukka town, who pleaded anonymity, however, said the owner of the filling station instructed them not to open the station today because marketers in the area would be holding their meeting.