PORT HARCOURT – NORMALCY is creeping in Rivers state as disputing parties yesterday aborted four days of fuel tanker drivers and marketers strike which had unsettled transportation, forced hike in fares and dealt untold hardship on motorists and commuters.
The fuel dealers, mainly of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had shut businesses in solidarity with the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) demanding unconditional release of fuel trucks impounded by various security agencies for alleged shady deals.Following several truce meetings on the intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike, stakeholders on Thursday announced call off of the strike with assurance to release all impounded fuel tankers still under custody of security agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In the terms of agreement read yesterday by the state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Peter Medee, parties including NUPENG, IPMAN, EFFC and the River state government asked the fuel tankers to resume work and all feeling stations to resumes sales of fuel.
Medee also disclosed that a committee of relevant stakeholders with the commissioner as head is to be set up “to attend to all cases and related arrests in the oil and gas sector in Rivers. It shall meet frequently to review emerging trends in the sector as they unfold while a platform shall be created for effective communication.
“The committee shall immediately commence release of the 35 impounded trucks and their products as agreed by the EFCC just as parties condemn illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, artisanal refineries and oil theft while commending security agencies for efforts in combating these criminal activities.”
Bassey Harry, Deputy President, NUPENG, declared that, “Based on the intervention of the Governor of Rivers, the Directors of DSS, EFCC and other parties, I hereby suspend the strike and direct all our men to go back to work immediately, all feeling stations, all pump attendants to resume immediately.”