…Flays govt disobedience to court orders
Port Harcourt — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has expressed deep worries over recent developments in the country.
National President of PENGASSAN, Ndukaku Ohaeri, and General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, in the association’s new year message particularly regretted what it described as “disturbing emerging trend of disobedience to court orders” by government agencies.
PENGASSAN insisted that the core fundamentals of modern democracy is rule of law, while urging security agencies to exercise restraint regarding human rights and judicial orders.
Ohaeri and Okugbawa said it will be irresponsible and unpatriotic for PENGASSAN to stand aloof and watch while the tenets of democracy are being eroded by those the citizens collectively gave their mandate to represent them.
They said: “The Association has observed these unfolding events with utter amazement and must now lend her voice as a responsible and critical stakeholder in the Nigeria project.
“In particular is the very disturbing emerging trend of disobedience to court orders, clamp down on media establishments, flagrant arrests of journalists, and social crusaders, on flimsy reasons.
“Also worrisome is the deliberate distribution and propagation of inciting, provocative and misleading messages and fake news by some disgruntled elements in the society capable of causing unrest and civil disobedience. It is our inspired assessment that this trend if not checked portends a grave danger to our nascent democracy.
“We are also greatly disturbed that the democratic experience we laboured fortuitously for during the military era, with other labour unions and the Civil Liberties Organizations is gradually taking a dive towards the very issues we resisted, to the point of paying the supreme price as cost for the struggle in enthroning this democracy.”
The senior oil workers’ union commended the Federal Government for steps taken towards resuscitating the nation’s ailing economy, through port reforms and anti-corruption campaigns.
PENGASSAN urged security agencies to seek ways of mitigating the rising insecurity in the country, such as kidnaping, communal violence, highway robbery and other politically motivated crimes.
“Though PENGASSAN has identified the genuine steps taken by the Federal Government in addressing the myriads of economic challenges facing the Nation and have severally applauded these efforts such as the institutional reforms, Port reforms, financial prudence and anti-corruption campaigns, transparency in the operations of the petroleum downstream industry. Nevertheless, we believe the economic renaissance must thrive under an atmosphere of freedom and the rule of law.
“The core fundamentals of modern democracy is the rule of law; without it, there is no democracy. No Nation worth its existence will undermine this essential component of a free society.
“PENGASSAN therefore advises for restraint by the various Security and Law enforcement Agencies with regards to potential human right abuses and utter disregard to judicial pronouncements and avoid the reoccurrence of Col Sambo Dasuki rtd and Mr. Omoyele Sowore episode in our political clime and nationhood.
“We also demand that the Judiciary should henceforth discharge their constitutional responsibilities within the dictates of the Rule of Law and for posterity,” PENGASSAN said.