PENGASSAN-Logo-4The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has threatened to go on strike if the Federal Government does not intervene in the increasing level of insecurity in the Niger Delta.

PENGASSAN, which condemned the recent killing and abduction of oil workers in the Niger Delta, wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan asking him to intervene by providing adequate security and safety for its members and other workers in the industry in order to avert the impending strike that may throw the oil and gas industry and the nation’s economy into crisis.

The association in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Monday, called on the President to stop the “disconcerting resurgence of kidnapping, abduction and gruesome killing of oil workers in the Niger Delta area.”

Failure to do this, according to the association, poses great threat to smooth operations in the oil-rich region.

The General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Mr. Bayo Olowoshile, who signed the letter, recalled that two contractors were recently taken from the creeks, while the wife of an employee of Shell Petroleum Development Company was abducted from her poultry farm.

Another member of staff was abducted and subsequently assassinated while on private business.

Olowoshile lamented that the incidents posed serious challenges to the workers’ fundamental rights to life, mobility and to work without fear of victimisation and molestation.

“With the resurging threats to the oil and gas industry, the International Oil Companies have issued security alerts and warnings to their employees. As a labour union, we will equally not shy away from our moral and constitutional role to direct our members to take cover accordingly,” he said.

This, he insisted, might lead to the withdrawal of services until the government and the relevant agencies could ensure appropriate safety and security of lives for the oil workers.


Information from Punch was used in this report.