The controversial lawmaker and Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district, Hamman Misau has asked the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu to explain if he had personally seen President Muhammadu Buhari since the beginning of fuel scarcity last month.
He raised the curious question at a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Petroleum downstream on Thursday in Abuja.
He demanded to know if the Minister had personally seen Buhari or tried reaching him through a memo since President Buhari occupies the senior Minister of Petroleum portfolio.
He said: “Mr Minister of State for Petroleum, this Committee wants to know of you have seen President Bihari personally since this fuel scarcity?’
‘We also want to know if you raised a memo over the fuel scarcity problems and the memo was blocked by some persons around Buhari.”
Misau said that it was necessary that Mr Ibe Kachikwu explained, saying that social Media reported that he had been blocked from seeing Mr. President by cabals in the presidency.
In what appeared to attempt to prevent the controversy, Senator Kabiru Marafa who presided over the hearing told the Minister to skip those questions, saying that, that was an internal issue.
“Honourable Minister, the question of whether you have seen Mr. President or you sent a memo and it was blocked is an internal issue. Please don’t answer on that”, Marafa said.
Responding to questions, Ibe Kachikwu identified internal and external diversion by oil marketers as reasons for imbalances in fuel availability across the country.
“Part of reasons we don’t have enough fuel in some states than others are due to internal and external diversion.
“Marketters would lift fuel and take it to States that has no strict monitoring by DPR and sell it at black market price”, he said.
He also maintained that the DPR lacked enough manpower to carry out their responsibilities effectively, saying that there were 8,000 filling stations across the country
Meanwhile, the investigative hearing lasted for six hours with accusations and counter accusations by stakeholders over those really responsible for fuel scarcity.