Says the planned union strike will not stampede the federal government

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed dismay over the decision by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to embark on a nationwide strike over the non?payment of subsidy claims to some oil marketers.

According to the party, the union’s action is undermining the federal government?s efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in the petroleum industry.

The party also called on all Nigerians to give their “tacit support to the FG against a tiny cabal of oil marketers and their political collaborators”.

In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, said that no sensible government would allow a policy in a vital economic sector to be dictated by those who don?t have the interest of the nation at heart.

“The decision by NUPENG to embark on a nationwide strike over the decision by the federal government to stick to unimpeded transparency in the payment of subsidy claims is unpatriotic and barefaced insensitivity to the outcry of Nigerians over the rot in the oil industry; as well as a clear inclination to use the pivotal position of the union to promote actions that are inimical to our economy,” stated Metuh.

?The PDP-led federal government will never relent in fighting for the interest of the people. Nigerians are greater than her oil marketers and the bargain of NUPENG must not be allowed to appropriate the interests of the generality of the people who bear the brunt of shady transactions in the petroleum subsidy management. Whose interest is NUPENG fighting for, one may ask? Is it that of the indicted oil marketers or that of the people of Nigeria? Is NUPENG going on strike on the premise of genuine national interest or on the promptings of the indicted oil cabal?

Has NUPENG suddenly become a puppet whose string is being pulled by some economic saboteurs? Why is it that the union, which was in the vanguard of calls for sanity in the subsidy regime, is now standing against government?s decision to ensure that transparency is taken to the letter? Is NUPENG running with the hare and chasing with the hound??

Metuh called on Nigerians to appreciate the stand of the federal government on the matter, saying that the government was not fighting the cause of either the PDP or President Jonathan but that of the people of Nigeria.

“The federal government cannot bow to pressure and be stampeded into paying fictitious subsidy claims to forestall the strike by NUPENG,” he said. ?We therefore call on the NUPENG to see reason and on the Nigerian Labour Congress to reconsider its decision to give support to NUPENG. We urge the civil society organisations and all well meaning Nigerians to join the federal government?s resolve to fight corruption and secure the future of our nation.”

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