Leadership Crisis in NUPENG Threatens Petrol Supply as Petroleum Tanker Drivers Consider Protest

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is grappling with a leadership crisis that could potentially disrupt petrol supply in the country, as the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), an affiliate of NUPENG, contemplates breaking away and initiating a nationwide protest.

The cause of the upheaval stems from the steadfast refusal of NUPENG’s current President, Williams Akporeha, and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, to resign as demanded by the dissenting members. Gbenga Olawale, an ex-officio of the PTD at the Ibadan depot, announced in a statement on Sunday that their nationwide protest aims to emphasize their demands for new leadership.

According to Olawale, Akporeha’s presidency is contested on the grounds that he is not a genuine NUPENG member, asserting that he lacks the competence to lead the union. Allegations were made that Akporeha was strategically inserted into the petrol station workers of NUPENG (PSW) to facilitate his candidacy, deviating from the NUPENG constitution.

The statement further accused Akporeha of deploying surrogates to collect union revenue, diverting funds away from the association and the tanker drivers’ welfare. The dissenting group is advocating for a fresh election, throwing their support behind Lucky Osusan and Dayyabu Garga for the positions of NUPENG president and general-secretary, respectively, citing their commitment to liberating members from extortion.

To signal their intent, the statement directed PTD members nationwide to affix leaves to the fronts of their trucks, serving as a symbolic warning to NUPENG and the police against interference and harassment of their leaders.

It is noteworthy that on November 4, former PTD national chair Osesua and his deputy Garba were remanded in prison over an alleged assault on Akporeha. Despite these developments, NUPENG officially denied the existence of any faction within its PTD union, refuting claims of an internal crisis.

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