Fuel Scarcity May Hit Ondo, Ekiti, As Tanker Drivers’ Crisis Deepens

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A protracted crisis is rocking the Ore Unit of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). The Ore Unit is under Warri Zone. It controls both Ondo and Ekiti States.

The crisis, it was gathered, followed the refusal of the current leadership of the union to leave office after spending 8 years. The leadership was also accused of deliberately refusing to conduct an election for new leadership to emerge.

Members of the association in Ore Unit are also accusing the zonal leadership of the association in Warri of collecting a N10 Million bribe from the Ore Unit leadership in order to allow them stay in office without election.

Already, the members have barricaded the Unit office in Ore, as they vowed never to allow the those who have spent 8 years as leaders of the association to return to the office.

They are demanding for a fresh election that would elect new leadership for the association.

A prominent member of the association and former chairman of Akure branch, Akintomide Olatuja said the leadership of Warri zone has threatened not to allow any tanker carrying fuel supply to Ondo and Ekiti States to leave the depot.

“What happened was that, we had an issue here in Ore Unit. There are people who have been leading us for the past 8 years and they don’t want to leave office.

“We petitioned the commissioner of police and copied the Director of DSS, Civil Defense and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union matters. What we are demanding is that election should be conducted and nothing else. After the whole saga, the Commissioner of police invited the two parties and settled for us.

“We agreed that the zonal leaders will come from Warri on the 29th of April and address us. We were still waiting for the 29th of April when we realized that on the 21st of April, these set of people namely: chairman, Waheeb abiloye; tajudeen Aduwo, deputy chairman 1, Henry akinmoladun, deputy chairman 2, Sunday akindasha, and others , were already in Warri and the leadership in the Warri sworn them in as caretaker members.

“Since then, we have closed down this office here and we are saying that unless election is conducted, we will not allow them to go into this office. They have spent 8 years. Some of them in the executive have spent 16 years. Just ten of them can not hold over hundreds of us unto ransom. We have it on good authority that the Warri leadership was bribed with N10 million.

“The former member of the House of Representatives, Akinlaja Joseph who is the patron of our association in the Southwest is the one masterminding this whole crisis. Akinlaja doesn’t want us to hold any election. The current leadership is filled with his loyalists. They are bringing party affiliations into our association matters.

“This is what we are resisting. The Warri leadership has threatened not to allow any tanker bring fuel to Ondo and Ekiti if we don’t allow the Waheeb abiloye -led old exco to gain access to our office. And we are saying, unless an election is held, we are not allowing them to enter this office. We are determined to see this to the end.

“As we speak, our tankers are not allowed to get to ore. Especially if your waybill carries Ore. we tried using Ekiti waybill but now they have started stopping Ekiti too. People should help us beg Akinlaja to leave this association matters alone. They have stopped tankers from bringing fuel to Ondo and Ekiti states.

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