There seems to be no immediate end to the leadership crisis in the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the deepened Wednesday with the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), as the factional National Chairman of the group, Lucky Osesua, has accused the parent body (NUPENG) of coercing its members to pledge loyalty to an “illegal” group.

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In a statement in Abuja, the PTD branch of NUPENG, led by Osesua and his Deputy, Dayyabu Garga, said the parent body was compelling members into signing an undertaking to that effect against the principles of fair labour practices.

According to the PTD, the illegal faction of the branch is under Augustine Egbon, which it said is brazenly backed by the president and general secretary of the union, despite the interventions of the courts of competent jurisdiction to reverse the “illegality.”

He explained that the actions and inactions of NUPENG leadership, particularly that of the President, Williams Akporeha; the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale and the Trustee, Akanni Oladiti, was a total affront to the rule of law and the extant rules of the union.

The group demanded that the intimidation, harassment, humiliation and emotional attacks on their members must stop forthwith.

It also urged the presidency, Ministry of Labour and Employment, elders of the union, the police and other key stakeholders in the industry to come to their aid and deliver the union before it slides into an “irredeemable implosion”.

In the statement jointly signed by Osesua and National Secretary, Humble Power, the group noted that the fresh anti-labour activity will further subject its members to slavery and servitude against their wishes.

“It is appalling that these people would form an unholy alliance to use force, harassment, victimisation and emotional attack on our members at the units and zonal levels by luring them into signing an undertaking with the header ‘loyalty clearance’.

“This oppressive style of leadership is alien to our union and we urge the government and the public to take note of this flagrant abuse of power.

“A union, which had time without number accused management of different oil and gas companies in the country of stopping their members from being unionised, is the same union that is foisting on its members a demand to build support and loyalty for a leadership that was illegally constituted and forcing members to comply or face forceful exit from the union.

“The psychological and emotional trauma currently being experienced by our members is totally unbearable for them, and this is unfortunately making them to feel less human and completely depressed and unhappy.

“We wish to emphasise here that this lack of respect and sensitivity to Nigeria’s extant labour laws, international conventions and global best practices is gradually becoming the stock-in-trade for NUPENG.

“There are still several other lingering infractions and issues against hapless tanker drivers yet to be addressed by the leadership of NUPENG, even after courts and elders of our unions had severally intervened in these matters,” the Osesua group said.

It therefore demanded the withdrawal of the so-called loyalty form and allow members operate unhindered.

However, the Egbon-led group had also been laying claim to being the leaders of the authentic PTD, saying they have the support of the parent body, NUPENG.