OBINNA EZUGWU

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), one of the 46 industrial unions affiliated with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has alerted its members to be ready for shut down if attacks on peaceful protesters continue in Kaduna State.

The National President of the NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, in a statement to journalists in Kaduna said its members are “deeply saddened with the violent turn of NLC peaceful protests by the dictatorial and despotic regime of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna State”.

According to him, “The Leadership of the Union is therefore calling on the Federal Government to immediately call on Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to order before his arrogance and power drunk ego further push the situation into horrendous calamity as he has been doing in all issues relating to human lives and wellbeing, the statement said.

“Consequently, the Union reiterates that no Labour Leaders or workers as the case may be, be harmed, harassed, maimed, humiliated or victimized during this 5-day peaceful protests in the State.

“Our Union is raising this alarm following the very reliable report of the clandestine move of Governor Nasir El-RUfai to hurt and put the lives of NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and other Labour Leaders to danger in his usual blind egotistical style of running government in the State

“NUPENG therefore warns that if any harm is inflicted on any of the members of organized Labour, the Leadership of the Union will not hesitate to call on all our members throughout the nation for a total shut down of all our services in the upstream, mid-stream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

“In the light of the above, we are therefore putting all NUPENG members nationwide on red alert and may at very short notice of five hours call for a nationwide industrial action if situation arises.

“Our solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong,” the statement noted.

Armed thugs had on Tuesday, disrupted a procession by members of the NLC who were on a peaceful protest in Kaduna State on Tuesday. The NLC is protesting the sack of hundreds of workers by the state government.

The protest angered Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai who accused the workers of economic sabotage and declared the NLC leader, Ayuba Wabba wanted and equally placed a ‘bounty’ on him.