- The Petroleum Tanker Drivers division of NUPENG has announced a nationwide protest
- The group has threatened to withdraw from NUPENG if the current leadership fails to resign
- If the protest continues, Nigerians may be looking at an imminent fuel scarcity across the country
Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.
The current turmoil within the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has escalated with the initiation of a nationwide protest by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
The drivers are expressing their discontent and have issued a warning to part ways with NUPENG unless the National President, Williams Akporeha, and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, step down from their positions.
Drivers allege Akporegha lacks legitimacy to lead NUPENG
These sentiments were conveyed through a press release jointly issued in Abuja on Sunday by Comrade Gbenga Olawale and Comrade Adekunle Rufai, both members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers.
According to The Nation, the tanker drivers argue that Akporeha lacks the competence to lead the union as he is allegedly not a NUPENG member.
According to the protestors, this deviates from the NUPENG Constitution, as Akporeha was neither a worker nor a pump attendant at the time of his candidacy verification for the president position.
Consequently, they assert that Williams lacks the qualifications to be the president of NUPENG.
Furthermore, they allege that he has strategically positioned his associates to appropriate all union revenue for personal gain.
It is worth noting that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had directed the detention of Lucky Osesua, the former national chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of NUPENG, along with the former deputy national chairman, Dayyabu Yusuf Garga, and 11 other individuals in Kuje prison.
This order stems from allegations of assaulting Olawale, Akporeha, and several others.
Nationwide protest may affect fuel supply
The drivers did not specify in their statement whether their demonstration would impact the lifting and supply of petroleum products.
The recent arrest and legal proceedings against the preferred leadership, Osesua and Garga, could potentially catalyze the initiation of a strike.
Should the drivers opt not to load and supply petrol, it could escalate into a heightened fuel scarcity situation in the country.
Speaking on the matter, Johnson Akpan, an oil and gas industry operator told Legit.ng that another fuel crisis will hurt Nigerians badly, especially since the Yuletide is around the corner.
The crisis in NUPENG has lingered for a while and only culminated with recent events. For now, we hope that they can have some form of resolution this week. If the issues persist, it could result to them refusing to load petrol and thereby causing an artificial scarcity that will hurt Nigerians, especially since the Christmas period is just around the corner.
Ejiro Otarigho: Driver Who Drove Burning Tanker Gets N2m From Delta State Government
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Delta State government awarded N2 million to Ejiro Otarigho, the tanker driver credited with steering a burning tanker away from Agbarho community in Ughelli North local government area.
This financial gesture is a token of appreciation for Ejiro's heroic actions, which successfully averted a potential disaster in the community.
Alongside the monetary reward, Ejiro was also honoured with a plaque and a commendation letter from the state government.
The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in presenting these items to the driver.
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