Cross River accuses NUPENG of blackmail plot

22 October 2012, Sweetcrude, CALABAR — THE Cross River State Government said it has uncovered a plot by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, to blackmail the state.

It said the the plot is not unconnected with the seizure, about two weeks ago, of two tankers allegedly used for illegal oil bunkering.

The State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey, said the two tankers were impounded in Calabar South following intelligence report that indicated they were being used for illegal bunkering.

Bassey said rather than address the issue, NUPENG was planning to call out its members on strike in protest over the seizure.

He revealed that during the operations, following a tip off, the two tankers were seized while one of the drivers escaped.

According to him, since the incident, his office and the leadership of NUPENG in the state have been engaging in diologue.

He further said: “They (NUPENG) claim that one of the tankers was loaded in Ibafo, Ogun State. But despite our intellegience report which indicated that the tankers were loaded in Calabar South, we asked them to write to the governor and beg for pardon.

“After initially agreeing to do so, they suddenly made a U-turn, that they would not write to the governor. Rather, they now want to call their members out on strike in protest over the seized trucks.

“Since that is the route they now want to travel, we insist that they show proof of where they got the products from. No amount of blackmail will deter us from upholding the law”.

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