The National Executives of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers under the control of Comrade Lucky Osesua has taken a swipe at the parent body for engaging in forum shopping, blackmail, contempt of court and using sentiments to foist their illegal leadership on the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry as a fait accompli.
The Osesua leadership made its position known in a statement it issued on Sunday over the leadership dispute.
The Osesua leadership, which emerged at the election in Abuja, which is the venue prescribed by the Union’s bye law, said the illegal leadership that emerged from a Kangaroo election in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was desperate to force stakeholders into accepting it.
It said that the illegal leadership could not avail itself legitimacy by serially violating the sanctity of the Branch’s bye-law and other legal methods of conducting Delegates Conference.
According to the PTD in a statement jointly signed by its National Chairman, Comrade Lucky Osesua, and its National Secretary, Comrade Humble Obinna Power, on behalf of the entire Branch on Sunday, the election, which purportedly produced Augustine Egbon as the Chairman, lacked legitimacy ab-initio.
The PTD however appealed to the Federal Government, especially President Bola Tinubu; Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; and other key players in the industry not to seek legitimacy for national executives of PTD elsewhere except the one by Osesua and Comrade Dayyabu Yusuf Garga.
The statement reads in full: “The National executive of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG has condemned the pitiful posture of our parent union which has been solely hijacked by the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, by engaging in forum shopping, blackmail, contempt of Court and using sentiments to foist on Federal Government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry the purported legitimacy of the leadership.
“The union now totters and wobbles as it screeches towards a dangerous and avoidable canyon of dry bones, as its staff members and branch members can no longer recognise their union which has been battered by men and women from the dark womb of time; unfortunately it is not clear if there could be any glimmer of hope to reclaim it from its impending slide to anarchy and total collapse under the current leadership of Williams Akporeha (President), Afolabi Olawale and the Otunba Salimon Akanni Oladiti (National Trustee).
“This ugly episode started when the power-drunk General Secretary of NUPENG, Mr Afolabi Olawale tried to manipulate and circumvent the bye-law of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG by holding Delegates Conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, contrary to the provisions of the bye-law which clearly gives Abuja as a legally recognized venue for the election.
“Yet, in flagrant defiance to Court order, they went ahead and held an illegal Conference despite the Court injunction, which barred them from doing so.
“Consequently, many protests were staged across the Zones of the union including the National Secretariat in Jibowu Lagos, but NUPENG brazenly turned deaf ears; this is totally unacceptable and truly showed the leadership does not mean well for the union and its members especially the PTD Branch.
“However, some of us who are law abiding and truly mean well for one-time Trade Union which was built and nurtured by Chief (Comrade) Frank Ovie Kokori with the objective to protect the interest and foster better working conditions for the blue collar employees in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector converged on Abuja on Tuesday, 31st day October, 2023 had our own election which brought Comrade Lucky Osesua on board as the National Chairman and Comrade Dayyabu Yusuf Garga emerging as Deputy National Chairman respectively.
“Please for the purpose of clarity, Augustine Egbon is not and can never be the National Chairman of PTD and that is what the law says. Afolabi, Williams and Oladiti know this fact but they only want to circumvent the law and as well take pleasure in stirring up a hornets’ nest and to destroy the union, but the truth is that they cannot be bigger than the Court of the land neither do they have the powers to bring down the union to satisfy their thirst for avarice, contempt and unholy plot best known to them.
“The stake in PTD, particularly access to administrative, operational and economic incentives and other opportunities cannot be left in the hands of stooges who want to steal blindly the common patrimony of PTD under the whims and caprice of Afolabi who has personally pocketed the entire union.
“Above all, PTD is already awake and cannot continue to allow its employees to remain its tormentors and exploiters. The trio of Comrades Akporeha, Afolabi and Oladiti should be called to order before they set the union on the verge of Precipice.
“We therefore appeal to our listening and labour-friendly President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, and the Labour Minister, to, in the interest of peace and industrial harmony intervene in this very disturbing and ridiculous situation by recognizing the legitimacy of PTD National Executives under the leadership of Comrade Lucky Osesua and his Deputy Comrade Dayyabu Yusuf Garga.
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“Government and other industry stakeholders should relate with us as the only legitimate, constitutionally recognised executives of the PTD Branch of NUPENG.
“Once again PTD must be allowed to breathe such that its members could peacefully and conveniently be proud and better for what they are doing as they continue to traverse the length and breadth of Nigeria through distribution and transportation of Petroleum products and supply of gas to Nigerians in their homes, offices and factories.”