NUPENG Threatens To Down Tools Over Sacked Refinery Workers

A fuel station owner on Sunday in Abuja charged the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to respect court’s proceedings.

He told journalists that failure of the drivers to distribute petroleum products in the southeast amounted to infringement on citizens’ rights to access petroleum products.

The dealer, who pleaded anonymity, for exigencies of his business, alleged that NUPENG had instructed PTD against loading petroleum products to petrol stations in the Southeast of the country.

There had been a faceoff between NUPENG and Imo government over the demolition of a fuel station belonging to a NUPENG member in Owerri years back.

Last week, NUPENG in Imo asked the Federal Government to wade into the imbroglio and enjoined it to make the state government to pay for the demolition, failing which it could withdraw its services.

The fuel dealer who spoke with journalists in Abuja on Sunday said NUPENG’s directive to tanker drivers was responsible for the long queues of fuel tanker trucks in the southeast.

“To worsen the PTD matter, NUPENG leadership instructed private fuel depot owners not to load any petroleum truck heading to the southeast.

“This is what resulted in trucks of petroleum tankers parking all over highways in the southeast.

“Compliance to the NUPENG directive to depot owners without court order is illegal. The instruction to tanker drivers to stop the distribution of petroleum products to southeast states must be stopped to avoid infringement on rights of citizens,’’ he stressed.

He underscored the need for aggrieved parties not to politicise the demolition of a fuel station to the detriment of the people.

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“NUPENG’s claim to be fighting for a member who happened to be a filling station owner is an excuse to frustrate states in the southeast.

“NUPENG went on strike in spite of the fact that the case is in court.

“Amidst security situation in this volatile area, NUPENG still went ahead to place embargo on the region in a politically-sponsored agenda,’’ he charged.

“We are buy fuel at N400 per litre in the southeast, while in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country fuel is sold at N162 per litre,’’ he lamented. (NAN)