—- Members lock out Executives, insist on fresh election after 8 years
Dayo Johnson Akure
The leadership crisis rocking the Ore Unit of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Ondo State, has deepened as the executive members of the union were reportedly locked out of their offices by aggrieved union members.
Aggrieved union members accused the leadership of spending eight years in office and deliberately refusing to conduct an election for the emergence of new leadership.
Consequently, fuel scarcity is imminent in Ondo and Ekiti states following the crisis in the Ore unit which supplies both states.
The aggrieved union members in Ore Unit which is under the Warri Zone, are also accused the zonal leadership of the association in Warri of conniving with Ore Unit leadership in order to allow them stay put in office without conducting fresh election.
The aggrieved members barricaded the Unit office in Ore, and vowed never to allow the leaders who have spent eight years to return to the office.
They demanded for a fresh election that would produce new leadership for the association.
Speaking with newsmen on the development, a former chairman of Akure branch, Akintomide Olatuja said the leadership of the zone has threatened not to allow any tanker carrying fuel supply to Ondo and Ekiti States to leave the depot.
“What happened was that, we had an issue here in Ore Unit. There are people who have been leading us for the past eight years and they don’t want to leave office.
“We petitioned the commissioner of police and copied the Director of DSS, Civil Defense and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union matters.
“What we are demanding is that election should be conducted and nothing else. After the whole saga, the Commissioner of police invited the two parties and settled for us.
“We agreed that the zonal leaders will come from Warri on the 29th of April and address us.
“We were still waiting for the 29th of April when we realized that on the 21st of April, these set of people namely: chairman, Waheeb abiloye; Tajudeen Aduwo, deputy chairman 1, Henry Akinmoladun, Deputy chairman 2, Sunday Akindasha, and others , were already in Warri and the leadership in the Warri sworn them in as caretaker members.
“Since then, we have closed down this office here and we are saying that unless election is conducted, we will not allow them to go into this office.
“They have spent eight years. Some of them in the executive have spent 16 years. Just ten of them can not hold over hundreds of us unto ransom. We have it on good authority that the Warri leadership was bribed them.
“A former member of the National Assembly who is the patron of our association in the Southwest is the one masterminding this whole crisis.
“He doesn’t want us to hold any election. The current leadership is filled with his loyalists. They are bringing party affiliations into our association matters.
“This is what we are resisting. The Warri leadership has threatened not to allow any tanker bring fuel to Ondo and Ekiti if we don’t allow the Waheeb abiloye -led old exco to gain access to our office.
“And we are saying, unless an election is held, we are not allowing them to enter this office. We are determined to see this to the end.
“As we speak, our tankers are not allowed to get to ore. Especially if your waybill carries Ore. we tried using Ekiti waybill but now they have started stopping Ekiti too.
According to him ” They have stopped tankers from bringing fuel to Ondo and Ekiti states.