A protracted crisis rocks the Ore Unit of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). The Ore Unit is located under the Warri Zone. It controls both Ondo and Ekiti states.
The crisis, it was noted, followed the refusal of the union’s current leadership to step down after 8 years. The leadership has also been accused of knowingly refusing to hold an election to form a new leadership.
Union members in the Ore Unit also blame the union’s zonal leadership in Warri to collect a bribe of N10 million from the Ore Unit leadership so that they can remain in office without an election.
Members have already barricaded the unit’s office in Ore, as they have vowed never to allow those who have spent 8 years leading the association to return to the office.
They are calling for a new election that will establish a new leadership for would elect the association.
Akintomide Olatuja, a prominent member of the association and former chairman of the Akure branch, said the Warri Zone leadership threatened not to allow a tanker the fuel transpor to the states of Ondo and Ekiti ted to leave the depot.
“What happened was that we had a problem here in the Ore Unit. There are people who have led us in the last 8 years and who do not want to leave their office.
“We have petitioned the police commissioner and the director of the DSS, civil protection and copied the Governor’s Special Advisor on Union Affairs. What we are asking is that elections be held and nothing else. After all the story, the police commissioner invited the two parties and chose us.
“We agreed that the zone leaders will come from Warri on April 29th and give a speech us. We were still waiting for April 29th when we realized that on April 21st this group of people, namely: Chairman, Waheeb abiloye; Tajudeen Aduwo, Vice-Chairman 1, Henry Akinmoladun, Vice-Chairman 2, Sunday Akindasha and others have been to Warri and the Warri leadership has sworn them in as Caretaker Members.
“Since then, have we are closing this office here and we are saying that we will not allow them to take over this office unless elections are held. You have spent 8 years. Some of them in the executive branch have served 16 years. Just ten of them can’t hold hundreds of us for ransom. We have it on good authority that the Warri leadership was bribed with N10 million.
“Former House Representative Akinlaja Joseph, the patron of our association in the Southwest the one running this whole crisis. Akinlaja doesn’t want us to hold elections. The current leadership is filled with his loyalists. They bring party affiliations into our club affairs.
“We resist that. The Warri leadership has threatened not to allow any tanker to bring fuel to Ondo and Ekiti if we don’t allow the old Exco run by Waheeb abiloye to gain access to our office. And we say that we will not allow them to take office unless there are elections. We are determined to see this through to the end.
“As we speak, our tankers must be kept off ore. Especially if your bill of lading has ore in it. We tried to use Ekiti waybills but now they also started stopping Ekiti. People should help us to ask Akinlaja to leave these association matters alone. They have blocked tankers from bringing fuel into Ondo and Ekiti states.