The Nigeria Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to withdraw the services of its members in the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Lagos State from midnight of November 6, due to the harassment and threat to their lives by some criminal elements operating along Lekki Free Trade Zone Road, Eleko Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos state.
In a letter to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-OIu, titled, ‘Criminal and violent acts inimical to lives, properties and industrial peace and harmony in Lagos State: Demand for urgent actions, they noted that all efforts to resist the hoodlums have been met with stiff resistance and they have continued unabated to assault and inflict bodily injuries to the members of the union and damage their petroleum trucks.
The letter reads in part, “We are deeply constrained to bring to your urgent attention, the unwholesome activities of some criminal elements parading themselves along Lekki Free Trade Zone Road, Eleko Ibeju, Lekki, as Community youths under the name of Indigenous unity Forum, harassing, intimidating and extorting money from every petroleum truck drivers, who are NUPENG/PTD members plying the road.
“As a responsible and peace-loving organization with no control or knowledge of weapons of violence, coupled with the fact that our members, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers are only out to serve Lagos State and the nation in general for effective and efficient distribution of petroleum products for industrial and domestic uses as well as to search for sources of livelihood for themselves and their families, we have no other duty and obligation than to demand that your excellency should as matter of urgency put a final stop to the unwholesome activities of these criminals and similar elements across the state, otherwise we would have no other options than to direct our members, that for the sake of safety to their lives and properties to stay off the entire Lagos State until sanity, law and order are restored.”
NUPENG pointed out that the criminal tendencies of this group extend as far as to be impersonating and forging NUPENG/PTD official emblem, identity cards, and tickets to commit various atrocities including forceful extortion of money from genuine members, assaulting and threatening anyone that question or resist them or the source of their authority to perpetrate these criminal and illegal activities along the Lekki Free Trade Zone Road, Eleko Ibeju, Lekki.
The union said it has written to several authorities including security agencies, “but this group appears to be operating above the laws of the state and the country.”
“They also appear to be working for some big individuals and personalities in the state as all directives and instructions from police authority are treated with disdain and levity. With a deep sense of responsibility and duty, we are constrained to notify you, sir, that if this matter is not finally resolved and sanity restored to this route by midnight of Sunday 6th of November 2022, we shall have no other option than to direct our members (Petroleum Tanker Drivers) to stay off the roads of Lagos State so as to protect their lives and property”, the union said in their letter.
NUPENG also copied the Commissioner of Police and other top officials in Lagos state. “We are also by this letter notifying the people of the state, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy, and the Managing Director Of Pinnacle Oil & Gas Company Ltd. of our intended directive to the petroleum tanker drivers to stay off Lagos State roads as from midnight November 6th, 2022, if nothing is done to safeguard their lives and properties.”