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The leadership of the Licensed Petroleum Products Station Owners Association of Nigeria (LPPSOAN), Rivers State chapter, has raised alarm over what it described as unprecedented rise in armed robbery attacks in filling stations on a daily basis in various filling stations in the state.
In a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the association, Francis Dimkpa, the group said the worst aspect of the banditry remains the way and manner they operate freely in filling stations without restrain or challenge by the security agencies.
He said “We are helpless, as our filling stations are under siege by armed robbers. They raid our filling stations on a daily basis, operating day and night, but especially at night.
“Let me use this opportunity to disabuse the minds of some members of the public who think filling station is a place where cash flows or a financial institution. It is erroneous belief that filling stations have cash.
“Gone are the days when filling station owners keep cash in their stations since the advent of cashless economy or electronic banking system introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).“In spite of this level of awareness of cashless economy, the spate of raid on our filling stations in Port Harcourt and its environs by armed robbers has assumed a worrisome dimension.”
Dimkpa observed that many of times when the hoodlums come to rob without seeing money, they manhandle the pump attendants, inflict injuries on them and take away their valuables, adding that the ugly trend has not been reported in the media, thereby making it thrive unabated.
He called on the state Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, and other security chiefs in the state to move in and check the wave of armed robbery in filling stations across the state.
According to him, “Some of our members have reported their experiences to nearby Divisional Police headquarters, yet no action has been taken by the Police to stem this ugly trend. “We want the commissioner of Police and the director, Department of State Service (DSS) to take this security threat seriously and initiate drastic measure to forestall any possible interruption of availability of petroleum products as a result of this crime.”
Efforts to confirm the development from the State Polcie command failed at press time.
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