The leadership of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has directed all its members to commence the withdrawal of services nationwide.
PENGASSAN said this became necessary, following the failure of the federal government and relevant authorities to secure the release of 21 of its members who were arrested in Rivers State on legitimate national assignment.
The President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Ndukaku Ohaeri, in a statement obtained by The Sight News, directed that, “By midnight, Sunday 19th, April 2020, all export facilities will stop operations as well as suspension of production and Maintenance Services Report.
“That by 12 noon on Monday 20th April, all members will withdraw all forms of services relating to crude all production, refining, distribution and supplies.
“The directive will remain in force until assurances of our members’ safety are guaranteed by Federal Government. We are in consultation with our units, branches and other sister Unions who will also be joining the action as safety of our members is our uttermost”, he said.
Recall that 21 member staff of ExxonMobil were arrested and detained by the Rivers State Police Command on the ground that they violated the State Executive Order on the prevention of movement to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.
Ohaeri noted that, “It is more than 48 hours today that these patriotic workers who were lured from the border between Rivers and Akwa Ibom are still detained under inhabitable and inhuman conditions and denied access to basic necessities of life at Elekhahia stadium.
“All entreaties to the River State government to see reasons that they were on essential duties which is for the economic interest of the country have been rebuffed”, he said.
He added also that part of the decision to withdraw service was the obvious fact that the Federal Government who through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Pandemic cannot guarantee access to work locations for its members who volunteered to sacrifice their lives and comfort to salvage the country from the impending economic crisis.