The current fuel crisis was caused by Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, to spite Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikantu Baru, a source, who has information about hushed comments on the recent happenings in the oil sector claimed.
Recall that the duo had a public row recently during which they had bitter mutual recrimination.
Despite smiling together for the camera afterward, report has it that Kachikwu had not forgiven Baru, and allegedly masterminded the current fuel scarcity to create the impression that the NNPC boss was incompetent.
Highly placed sources revealed that Kachikwu instigated the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to disrupt the availability of PMS just to portray Baru as an incompetent administrator.
Though the NNPC attributed the long queues being experienced to panic buying; findings revealed that IPMAN members were influenced by Kachikwu to sabotage Baru; IPMAN had reportedly approached Baru to allow their members sell fuel at N150 per litre, a proposal which Baru allegedly rejected because the difference would foist untold hardship on Nigerians.
According to IPMAN, the products were being sold to them at ex-depot price of N120 per litre, and the only way its members could break even was to sell at N150 per litre. Realising that they would not have their way with Baru, they reportedly found an accomplice in Ibe Kachikwu, who instigated them to significantly cut down their supplies as such action would cause scarcity and force Baru’s hands whom he considers “being unnecessarily defiant.”
Baru who was in London at the time the scarcity broke out, had to rush back to the country to save the situation. He reportedly held series of meetings with stakeholders, including IPMAN, and there are indications that all parties have agreed to work out the modalities to ensure that fuel is made available without any price increase.
Allegedly dissatisfied by his inability to sabotage Baru, Kachikwu recruited shady characters among Niger-Delta militants to stage protests against Baru in Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt. The paid protesters are expected to hold rallies in strategic places in the three cities on Monday or Tuesday, barring any last minute changes.
Kachikwu reportedly lost his poise and touted charm since Baru’s emergence as GMD of the NNPC, a position hitherto manned by Kachikwu in his double portfolio as Minister and GMD. Their discord attained ugly dimensions when Kachikwu’s memo to the President about Baru was leaked to the public.
Things went downhill afterwards between the two until President Buhari intervened and established a truce.
That truce is allegedly busted in the wake of Kachikwu’s recent offensive against Baru.