Tanker Drivers Vow To Continue Strike In Rivers

The Executive of Tanker Drivers under the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Rivers State branch, has vowed to continue the ongoing strike until their demands were met.
The state Chairman of NUPENG, Tanker Drivers branch, Alex Agwanwor, who stated this in an interview, yesterday, said their members were being harassed by task force, police and other security agencies, stressing that until this was stopped, the drivers would not load petroleum products.
Agwanwor explained that the latest issue happened last week when some hoodlums operating as task force harassed one of their members at Omagwa near Port Harcourt International Airport and beat him up with the assistance of some security agencies.
He noted that instead of the police and military personnel intervening to save the driver of the lorry, they allegedly connived and humiliated the driver while destroying his vehicle.
According to him, “the lorry is still on the road. We demand that the hoodlums be provided and made to pay for those things damaged in the cause of the fracas.”
Agwanwor denied that the drivers were always going on strike for every little thing, stating that last three months, police chased a vehicle and it ran into a lorry loaded with product, arguing that the incident caused the tanker to go up in flames, destroying the tanker, product and injuring the driver.
“As I am speaking to you, the owner of the truck has lost the tanker, the driver has lost his job, and the owner of the product has also lost his investment. We need protection”, he said.
He regretted that those who were to protect them were part of those inflicting pains on their members, stressing that his members would stay at home until they pay for the lost truck was recovered.
The tanker driver confirmed that the executive was taking the matter up with Ikwerre LG Council caretaker committee chairman, police, Army and DSS but added that they were yet to agree on a term.
He disclosed that his members have suffered greatly in the hands of the task force and security agencies, and would not return to work until an amicable solution was found.
It would be recalled that tanker drivers, last Wednesday, embarked on a strike over what they described as harassment of their members.
The strike has caused queues to reappear in most of the filling stations in Port Harcourt and its environs.