By Victor AHIUMA-YOUNG
NATIONAL Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has embargoedÂ fuel supplies to Abia and Imo states over insecurity of members, especially tanker drivers.
The oil workers are complaining and protesting, among others, alleged increasing abduction of members by kidnappers who demand outrageous ransoms and unabated cases of extortion, harassment and threat to life of members by security operatives in Abia and Imo states.
Chairman of OGS branch of NUPENG and National Security Co-ordinator, NUPENG, Comrade Benneth Korie, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard yesterday on phone, disclosedÂ that product supplies to the two states actually stopped since Monday, May 31, 2010.
The OGS branch of NUPENG Chairman vowed that normal supplies would not resume in the affected states until the governments of the two states guarantee and ensure the safety of members, their trucks and products.
He said though discussions were going on between the leaders of NUPENG and Imo State government to find solution to the issues, but insisted that until there was evidence that government was ready to tackle and address the unionâ€™s complaints, members would not return to the two states.
According to him, â€œThis is to inform the general public that NUPENG has withdrawn its members and fuel supplies to Abia and Imo states respectively for over rising cases of abduction of our members by unknown persons who demand outrageous ransoms.
To worsen that, the security agents in those two states have continued to extort, harass, intimidate and even threaten the life our members for no just cause. We can no longer tolerate these criminal activities targeted at our members who are performing their legitimate duties.
While the abductors are on the rise with outrageous ransom demands, the security operatives instead of doing their work by apprehending crimes and criminals, protect law abiding citizens, theyÂ go about extorting, harassing and intimidating our members.â€