Insecurity: Nigerian oil workers begin 3-day warning strike

10 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos –
Leaders of the two oil industry associations in Nigeria have ordered their members in the Niger Delta region to commence a three-day warning strike beginning from today.

The National of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said the industrial action was in protest of the incessant attacks on the oil workers, allegedly being kidnapped on daily basis.

The plan to embark on an indefinite strike if the restiveness and violence on members in the region persisted.

In a petition letter to the governors of Delta, Edo, Ondo and Kogi States, the unions urged the governors to immediately establish machineries to tackle the security challenges in their respective states to guarantee the safety of its members.

The letter signed by the chairmen and secretaries of both unions expressed disappointment over the attitude of government towards provision of security for oil workers in the region.

The letter reads: “It is particularly worrisome that our recurring calls on the government at various levels and agencies to discuss and revolve the myriad of killing and kidnapping facing the state have proved abortive.

“Our unions are bothered about the psychological trauma and torture that our affected members experience when abducted in attempt to accomplish their demand for ransom and other unknown motive. We are becoming increasingly disturbed over this dastardly act which we consider as condemnable and unnecessary violence on innocent oil and gas workers in Niger Delta region.

“We urge the federal and all state governments in Warri Zone which comprises Delta, Edo, Ondo and Kogi States to put in motion as a matter of urgency all necessary machineries to secure the immediate and unconditional release of all the affected Nigerians.

“We also reiterated our call to the Delta State Government to summon enough political will to tackle the kidnappings, robbery and killings in the Warri Zonal region, particularly the two cities of Effurun and Warri, not to mention other cities in Delta State,” the statement said.

“Based on the above, we therefore direct that all our members in all location and workplace in the oil and gas region of Warri Zone to withdraw their services and embark on three days warning strike from Monday, 10th to Wednesday, 12th October, 2011, and we also advised all market women to close shop within three days to avoid looting, including stoppage of loading of fuel and selling in all filling stations across Warri Zone by 12 midnight on October 9, 2011.”

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