There was a news making rounds that the Petroleum Tankers Drivers branch (PTD) of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers will exit the umbrella body and embark on a nationwide protest to enforce the resignation of the NUPENG’s President, Williams Akporeha and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale.
The statement which was credited to one Gbenga Olawale who was said to be a PTD Ibadan depot ex-officio. He directed in the statement that PTD members across the country should move with leaves in front of their trucks to warn NUPENG and police against interference and incessant harassment of their leaders.
However in a swift response to the statement of the purported unrest, the National Chairman of the PTD Comrade Augustine Egbon dismissed any form of planned protest.
According to the statement by Egbon he urge the public to disregard any protest statement, in his words “I wish to alert the general public of the antics of some desperate and mischievous individuals to cause unfounded and dangerous panic in the supply chain of Petroleum Products distribution in the Country through spreading of fake and false news items.
‘The Petroleum Tanker Drivers are not embarking on any form of protest and we are determined to continue our services to the nation and wholeheartedly support the efforts of the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to put our economy on the right track for the good of all of us.
‘We wish to further reiterate the fact that there is no division in our Union and the Branch of Petroleum Tanker Drivers. Our members are fully committed and United in our collective struggles as we believe that Workers United, can never be defeated.
The general public are implored to ignore these mischief makers and Security Agencies are hereby called upon to fully investigate this panic creating news items as the citizens are already going through enough tough times and situations.’ He concluded
Sources within the Ibadan Branch of the PTD have also revealed those behind the news of the protest are not original members of the Union, a member who would not like to be mentioned explained that Gbenga Olawale and Adekunle Rufai are not bona-fide members of the PTD and that their names are not on the list of the Ibadan depot executives of the PTD and also not on the list of ex-officio of the PTD as they claimed.
The crisis was due to the issues emanating from the outcome of the leadership election into the umbrella union the NUPENG, where Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, emerged as President and General Secretary as Against Lucky Osusan and Dayyabu Garga being supported by another group. The crisis is to solicit legitimacy for their various faction even amongst the PTD branch.