The ongoing leadership crisis within the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is now posing a serious threat to the country’s petrol supply, as the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), an affiliate of NUPENG, has issued a warning of a potential breakaway and nationwide protest.
The primary contention revolves around the refusal of NUPENG’s current President, Williams Akporeha, and General-Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, to resign as demanded by PTD members.
In a statement released on Sunday, Gbenga Olawale, ex-officio of the PTD, Ibadan depot, declared that their members would initiate a nationwide protest to emphasize their demands. Olawale asserted that Akporeha is not a legitimate member of NUPENG and, therefore, lacks the competence to lead the union.
The statement claimed that Akporeha was strategically inserted into the petrol station workers of NUPENG (PSW) to enable him to contest the NUPENG presidency, a move that deviated from the NUPENG constitution.
“Williams is not a worker or a pump attendant on record as at the time he was verifying for the president position,” the statement emphasized.
Olawale further accused Akporeha of deploying his proxies to collect all union revenue, which was allegedly not utilized for the development of the association and tanker drivers. He called for a fresh election, asserting that PTD members stand with Lucky Osusan and Dayyabu Garga for the positions of NUPENG president and general-secretary, respectively, due to their dedication in ensuring members are free from extortion.
The statement directed PTD members nationwide to affix leaves to the front of their trucks as a symbolic warning against interference and harassment from NUPENG and the police.
It is noteworthy that on November 4, Osesua, a former national chair of the PTD, and Garba, his deputy, were remanded in prison over an alleged assault on Akporeha. Despite this incident, NUPENG denies the existence of any faction within its PTD union, refuting the possibility of an internal crisis within the association.