08 October 2015, Lagos – The Petroleum Tanker Drivers, an arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, has appealed to the Presidency to restore sanity at the Apapa loading depots.
According to the body, there is a need for the government to check the illegal activities of some security personnel at the depots.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by the PTD National Chairman, Mr. Salmon Oladiti, the group also demanded a better coordination of the activities of naval officers in the area.
It also alleged that the activities of some naval officers do not only impede loading of petroleum products, but also inflict body pains and anguish on tanker drivers.
The statement explained, “Navy illegal operations are the major problems of tanker drivers; there are so much extortions, harassment and beating of our members who fail to meet their demands.
“We want the activities of the Navy to be checked. They are not trained to be controlling traffic. Their activities are affecting our operations.
“We have recorded two deaths now; we don’t want more people to die due to their extortions and illegal operations. We want them to be withdrawn from the road,
“In fact, most of the gridlock in Apapa area are caused by the activities of the Navy who will not allow our members to pass without paying them.”
It said one of its members, Comrade Abbass Salmon, a motor boy, was crushed to death on October 1 this year on Kirikiri Bridge in one of the incidents.
“The driver of the vehicle, Mr. Ibrahim Kasali, is currently on admission in hospital. If it becomes clear that our members are no longer safe, we will leave the depot and tank farms for the Navy,” the group said.
It added, “Our members get scared seeing Navy with guns now; we can be orderly without them, their activities may soon cause fuel scarcity as some of our members outside Lagos do not want to come to load at the Apapa depots again.”
The union said it had a formidable task force team, capable of ensuring orderliness at the Apapa depots.
It stressed, “PTD has a task force that monitors major loading points and tank farms. We are organised and we will maintain law and order in the area.
“Most trucks that are not even programmed to load by the union were allowed to drive in to load by Naval officers to distort the orderliness because of gains through corrupt practices.”