December 1, 2023

Don’t legitimise impostors as PTD leaders, NUPENG writes FG

Don’t legitimise impostors as PTD leaders, NUPENG writes FG

By Victor AhiumaYoung

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has written to the Federal Government imploring it not to legitimise those the Union describes as impostors parading as leaders of its Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch.

The Union said the leaders of PTD known to it and other stakeholders in the industry are those elected on October 31, 2023, at a Special Delegates Conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, with Augustine Egbon, as National Chairman.

Intimating the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on the emergence of Egbon-led leadership of PTD, NUPENG recalled that Lucky Osesua had earlier been elected national chairman on 30th of June 2022, but his election alongside other members of his executive was nullified on 24th of July 2023, by Justice Bashar Akali of the National lndustrial Court, NIC, Yenagoa Division.

The union explained the annulment followed a petition by one Godwin Ewhrudjakpor, challenging the eligibility of Osesua to contest, and the legality of the newly approved Bye Laws of the Branch used for the election.

In a five-page petition to the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, NUPENG’s General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, detailed the events that led to the emergence of Augustine Egbon alongside others as the new leader of PTD.

NUPENG however lamented “On the 1st of November, 2023, the leadership of the Union along with the principal officers of the newly elected Branch leaders went to the PTD National Secretariat in Abuja to hand over the reins of the Branch to the new executives. They were viciously and brutally attacked by assailants and thugs hired by some individuals (names withheld ) and some other disgruntled members of the group. These persons are currently facing charges at the Magistrates Court in Abuja, while Police are on the trail of those on the run.

“lndeed, the General Secretary and the new Branch Chairman were left unconscious and were only revived at the hospital and subsequently discharged from the hospital after a week.

“Notwithstanding the attack, but in line with the Constitutional provisions of our Union and the Bye-laws of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of the Union, the new Branch Administrative Council of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers of the Union formally received the official handover from the five-man caretaker committee on Thursday, 9th of November 2023, at the PTD National Secretariat on Moses Majekodunmi Crescent, Utako, Utako District, Abuja.

“We are by this letter notifying you that these disgruntled elements who are on the run and are being investigated by the Police are still going around causing confusion and threatening further terror, and assaults on members and stakeholders in the Downstream Sector of the Nigeria Oil and Gas lndustry.
“We are imploring you and your good offices not to give any form of legitimacy as they do not represent the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers as the lndustrial Union nor the Petroleum Tanker Drivers as a Branch of NUPENG.”

Giving insight into what all transpired before the annulment of the June 30, 2022 delegates conference, and after the October 31, 2023 conference which was the consequence of the NIC court ruling of July 24, 2023, NUPENG in the letter to the Minister said among others, “On the 31st of October, 2O23 as approved and advertised, the Special Delegates’ Conference of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of NUPENG was successfully convened and held at the University of lbadan Conference Center, lbadan, Oyo State.

“ln attendance were, the President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Afolabi Olawale, and 712 accredited Delegates representing 177 Units of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of the Union.

“Also in attendance were the Registrar of Trade Union, Mr. Amos Falonipe and the Oyo State Labour Controller, Mr. Festus lgbinosun, the President and Executive Secretary of National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) Othman Yusuf and Mr. Aloga Ogogo, former General Secretary of NUPENG and former member House of Representatives Comrade Joseph lranola Akinlaja, former National Chairmen of the PTD Branch, Comrades Tijani Zubairu and Salimon Oladiti, members of the National Executive Council of the Union, Chairmen and Secretaries of other informal branches of the Union.
The Special Delegates’ Conference of the Branch was very peaceful and successful.

“At the end of the elections, Comrade Augustine Egbon was returned elected as the Chairman of the PTD Branch of the Union. Also elected were 15 other contestants. For the smooth running of the Branch at the Zonal level, 20 ex-officio members of the Branch Administrative Council were appointed.”