The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has directed its members on essential duty in the oil and gas industry to withdraw services by midnight of April 19 and noon of April 20.
The association’s President, Ndukaku Ohaeri, and General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, made this known in a statement they jointly issued on Sunday in Lagos.
They said the directive became necessary due to the Federal Government’s and relevant authorities inability to secure the release of 21 oil workers on legitimate national assignment in Rivers State.
The statement said: “Recall that on April 16, 2020, we raised the alarm over the illegal arrest and detention of 21 members staff of ExxonMobil by the Rivers Police Command.
“This was on the pretext that the workers violated the state executive order on the prevention of movement to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.
“It is more than 48 hours that these patriotic workers, who were lured from the border between Rivers and Akwa Ibom, are still detained under inhabitable and inhuman conditions and denied access to basic necessities of life at Elekhahia Stadium.
“All entreaties to the Rivers Government to see reasons that they were on essential duties which is for the economic interest of the country have been rebuffed.”
According to them, by midnight of April 19, all export facilities would stop operation as well as suspend production and maintenance services reports.
The union leaders also said that by noon on April 20, all members of the association would withdraw all forms of services relating to crude oil production, refining, distribution and supplies.
They said: “This directive will remain in force until assurances of our members’ safety are guaranteed by the government.
“We are in consultation with our units, branches and other sister unions which will also be joining the action as the safety of our members is our uttermost priority.”