Posted by News Express | 7 October 2015 | 2,768 times
Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to check the excesses of Naval officers at the Apapa loading depots in Lagos.
The appeal is contained in a statement in Lagos issued by Mr. Salmon Oladiti, the National Chairman of PTD, an arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
According to the statement, the activities of the Naval officers were causing untimely death of drivers apart from impeding loading of oil and free flow of traffic.
“Navy illegal operations are the major problems of tanker drivers; there are so much extortions, harassment and beating of our members who failed 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 We want them to be withdrawn from the road.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.
“Those that were unable to meet their demands faced stringent punishment and harassment.
“Just as one of us, Comrade Abbass Salmon, a motor boy, was crushed to death on Oct. 1 on Kirikiri Bridge after being stoned by a naval officer because the driver of the truck refused to pay Navy demands.
“The driver, Mr. Ibrahim Kasali, is currently on admission in hospital. If our members are not safe again, we will leave the depot and tank farms for the Navy.
“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.”
According to him, the union has a formidable taskforce team capable of creating orderliness at the Apapa depots.
“PTD has a taskforce that monitor majors 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 of corrupt practices.”
The statement said that the union’s taskforce was well respected more than all other security agents “as against confusion being created by Navy officials at the depots.”
It said that a naval officer who led to the death of one of the union members and almost caused the death of another on October 1 should be prosecuted.
The association called on the Nigerian Navy to compensate the family of the tanker driver who lost his life in another incident, stressing that the victim was the bread winner of his family.
It also urged the Nigerian Navy to pay the medical bill of another victim, Mr. Ibrahim Ka, who was hospitalised and that a stakeholders' meeting should be called to prevent a recurrence.
The association, however, urged its members to be law abiding and assured the drivers of their safety. (NAN)
•Photo shows Tankers along Apapa/Oshodi Expressway.
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