NUPENG laments brazen extortion of members by Army, Police, Civil Defense
•Tasks FG to address it or face strike
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has lamented what it described as brazen extortion of its members by security agents, including the Army, Police, and the Civil Defense Corps.
NUPENG said the issue of extortion by security agents had also been compounded by bad roads and insecurity, which had all combined to create serious hindrance to their job and effective delivery of their services.
In an address delivered by the National President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha, at the end of virtual National Executive Council (NEC) of NUPENG, the union said its members might be forced to embark on a serious industrial action to drive home their case if the issues were not properly addressed by the Federal Government.
NUPENG has, therefore, given the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum and directed its members (all tanker drivers) nationwide to start putting green leaves in front of their trucks from Monday, July 6 (yesterday), and commence a two-hour prayer session every morning at every loading location and stop over spots from Monday July 13.
The NUPENG President said: “The issue of bad roads is further compounded by the various security agencies who now set up multiple check points on these deplorable roads to further exploit and extort money from motorists. Petroleum tanker drivers are the worst hit by the exploitative tendencies of these unscrupulous security agencies.
“The brazen extortion of our members, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic was really disconcerting and unfortunate. As a Union, we cannot continue to fold our hands and watch our members, who toil day and night, in the rain, cold and sunshine to make our economy grow to keep suffering like this.
“In the light of the above, we are giving the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to commence total rehabilitation of these roads to save lives and properties as we can no longer tolerate the current situation of things.
“Immediately address the issue of multiple roadblocks and extortions from all its security agents mainly, the Army, Police, Civil Defense Corps. If not addressed, we may be forced to embark on a serious industrial action to drive home our case. Enough is enough of these molestation, harassment, exploitation and extortion by these uniformed men.
“From Monday July 6, all our Tanker Drivers are to commence putting green leaves in front of their trucks and from Monday July 13, we shall commence two hours morning prayers at every loading location and stop over spots for petroleum tanker drivers.”
Akporeha also added: “The union is again very worried about rampant cases of banditry, kidnapping, killings of innocent Nigerians especially in the northern parts of the country. We are also perturbed about the spate of attacks by unknown herdsmen on farmers in the southern part of the country. It is so sad to see gory stories of deaths, kidnapping, robbery, rape and destruction on our daily media headlines.
“We call on the Federal Government to restructure the security architecture to make it more proactive in tackling these security issues that are gradually becoming endemic.
“We cannot afford to allow evil men to take over the land and subject our people to gruesome deaths and perpetual fear.”
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