Black marketers on major streets of Abakaliki cashed in on the sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday to make brisk business.
They sold the premium motor spirit, otherwise called petrol, for between N200 and N350 per litre, following the closure of filling stations in the city due to the IPOB order.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a cross-section of the hawkers expressed happiness over the development.
Chidi Onu, who said he “made good business”, frowned at the restriction on business activities by IPOB.
“Well, it is not my fault that these things are happening. It is high time we sat on a roundtable as citizens to discuss many issues affecting us as a nation.
“Yes, the IPOB order has favoured me. I only came out to sell and have something for my family,” Mr Onu, who said he sold a litre for between N250 and N300, said.
Another hawker at Mile 50 Layout, Abakaliki, Sunday Enyinna, said he sold a litre for between N200 and N350, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.
A tricycle operator, Clement Chikaodiri, decried the development, describing it as wicked and sheer exploitation of the masses.
“It is worrisome. Look at me buying a litre of fuel for N300. That is too much. I have driven round the town and no filling station is open,” Mr Chikaodiri said.
NAN reported that the high cost of petrol by the roadside hawkers resulted in sharp increase in transport fares by more than 100 per cent.