In a move that could shake the foundation of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the union has threatened to sever ties with their parent body.
The tanker drivers, citing a litany of grievances against NUPENG’s National President, Williams Akporeha, and its General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, have issued an ultimatum demanding their immediate resignation. Failure to comply, they warn, will result in their departure from NUPENG.
At the heart of the PTD’s discontent lies the leadership of Akporeha, whom they accuse of lacking the requisite competence to head the union. They allege that his background as a cook in an oil company and his dismissal from the firm while holding the position of NUPENG’s national treasurer disqualifies him from the presidency.
Further fueling the PTD’s ire is the claim that Akporeha was deliberately drafted into the Petrol Station Workers Union of NUPENG to circumvent the union’s constitution and pave the way for his presidential bid. They argue that his lack of experience as a worker or pump attendant renders him incapable of effectively leading NUPENG.
To add to their list of grievances, the tanker drivers accuse Akporeha of planting his cronies within the union to siphon off revenue for personal gain. This rampant misappropriation of funds, they assert, has left the union’s coffers depleted and its members struggling to make ends meet.
In a show of solidarity with their embattled leaders, Lucky Osusan and Dayyab Garaga, who were arrested and detained at Kuje prison in Abuja, the PTD has vowed to stand united. They have also issued a stern warning to NUPENG and the police, cautioning them against interfering in their affairs or harassing their leaders.