The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and its Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch (PTD) have refuted media reports of plans to launch a nationwide strike over alleged leadership disputes in the union.
In response to the report, the National Chairman of the PTD Branch of NUPENG, Augustine Egbon, issued a statement on Monday, blaming the news item on those who want to create panic in the supply chain of petroleum products distribution in the country.
He stated that there was no rift within its ranks and that there was no reason for any form of protest.
Egbon stated, “The leadership of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) wants to warn the general public of the schemes of some desperate and mischievous individuals to cause baseless and dangerous panic in the supply chain of petroleum products distribution in the country by spreading fake and false news items.
“The Petroleum Tanker Drivers are not going on any form of protest, and we are committed to continuing our services to the nation and fully supporting the efforts of the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to put our economy on the right path for the benefit of all of us.”
“We want to further emphasise the fact that there is no division between our union and the Branch of Petroleum Tanker Drivers. Our members are fully dedicated and united in our collective struggles, as we believe that Workers United can never be defeated.”
Egbon urged the general public to disregard the troublemakers while calling on the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the panic-inducing news items, as citizens are already facing enough hard times.
Likewise, the General Secretary of NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, while reacting to the media reports in a statement issued Monday, affirmed that there was no intention whatsoever to embark on any protest.
He insisted that there was no division in the Union, as some desperate individuals and their sponsors wanted to portray.
The NUPENG General Secretary noted that the aim of those behind the press statement was to create panic in the public space and cause an artificial scarcity of petroleum products.
The Union also challenged security agencies to fish out those behind the news item, which it noted was very capable of creating social unrest and security issues.
Afolabi said: “There is no intention whatsoever by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to embark on any protest, as there is no division in the Union, as some desperate individuals and their sponsors want to portray. The news item is false and unfounded.”
“This press release is necessitated by the attention of the leadership of both the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of the Union that was drawn to this very misleading, mischievous, and unfounded online news of the alleged protest of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers across the country, and we are urgently compelled to release this press statement to prevent any form of panic, that the fake news item is false, unfounded, and should be ignored.
“It is designed to create panic in the public and cause artificial scarcity by these desperate individuals.”
Afolabi added that all the petroleum tanker drivers are fully devoted to the national service of effective and efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country.