•Urge security agencies to fish out those causing panic
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and its Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch, yesterday jointly denied reports of a planned strike over a purported leadership tussle in the union.
In a press statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the General Secretary of NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, blamed those he described as ‘desperate individuals’ for the misinformation.
“There is no plan whatsoever by the petroleum tanker drivers to embark on any protest as there is no division in the union as some desperate individuals and their sponsors want to project. The news item is false and unfounded,” he stated.
The NUPENG scribe noted that the motive of those behind the statement was to create panic in the public space and cause artificial scarcity of petroleum products.
The union further tasked security agencies to fish out those behind the news, which it noted was capable of creating social upheaval and security concerns.
“The attention of the leadership of both the NUPENG and PTD branch of the union has been drawn to this very misleading, mischievous and unfounded online news of the purported protest of the petroleum tanker drivers across the country.
“We are deeply compelled to quickly release this statement to avert any form of panic and that the fake news item is false, unfounded and should be ignored.
“It is intended to create panic in the public and cause artificial scarcity by these desperate individual,” the union stated.
According to the union, all petroleum tanker drivers are fully committed to the national services of effective and efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country.
“We earnestly call on the security agencies to urgently fish out those behind this very misleading and panic-creating news and make them face the full wrath of the law,” it added.
Also, the National Chairman of the PTD branch of NUPENG, Mr Augustine Egbon, in a statement attributed the information to those he said were bent on creating panic in the supply chain of petroleum products distribution in the country.
The PTD-NUPENG national chairman maintained that there was no division within its rank and there was no need for any form of protests.
“The leadership of the PTD branch of the NUPENG wishes to alert the general public of the antics of some desperate and mischievous individuals to cause unfounded and dangerous panic in the supply chain of petroleum products distribution in the country through spreading of fake news.
“The petroleum tanker drivers are not embarking on any form of protest and we are determined to continue our services to the nation and wholeheartedly support the efforts of the government of President Bola Tinubu to put our economy on the right track for the good of all of us.
“We wish to further reiterate the fact that there is no division in our union and the branch of petroleum tanker drivers.
“Our members are fully committed and united in our collective struggles as we believe that workers that are united can never be defeated.
“The general public are implored to ignore these mischief makers and security agencies are hereby called upon to fully investigate this panic creating news, as the citizens are already going through enough tough times and situations,” the PTD added.