By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—The Chief of Civil- Military Affairs, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Brig. General R.I. Nicholas, has pledged to establish a cordial and working relationship between tanker drivers and the Nigerian army.
The move is aimed at ending the frictions associated with increasing cases of harassment and extortions of Petroleum Tank Drivers, PTD, by uniformed men across the country.
Nicholas, who made the pledge during a visit to the National Secretariat of PTD Branch of NUPENG in Abuja, said the Army is interested in reducing recurring frictions between it and PTD members.
He noted the important role played by tanker drivers in the nation’s economy, saying that rather than being treated with scorn, Nigeria and the Nigerian Army recognises the contribution of drivers.
He assured the union that the Army is ready to partner with member of PTD to ensure the smooth flow of fuel distribution across the country, while stressing the need for peaceful co-existence, devoid of rancour and unnecessary strikes.
General Nicholas expressed the readiness of the Army to relate with PTD members in a civil manner so long as they conducted themselves within the ambit of the law.
According to him, the present day Army does not see himself as a subject of terror in the society, and urged the union to cooperate with the force to build mutual and respectful relationship between the two organisations.
The Army Chief, who was accompanied by other officers promised to look at some of the problem areas identified by the union, notably, the Warri/Benin by pass among others with a view to checking the excesses of uniformed men in the area as well as other parts of the country.
Earlier, the National Chairman of PTD, Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, extoled the virtues of the Army, saying the Nigerian Army made the country proud particularly in recent times with the remarkable successes recorded in the fight against insurgency.
Oladiti also recalled the feats achieved by the Nigeria Army in Liberia, South Sudan, and Somalia, and a host of others and expressed delight over the visit.