The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG), while felicitating and
solidarising with the Nigerian workers on the 2022 May
Day Celebrations, has condemned in its entirety, the explosion at an illegal refinery that claimed hundreds of lives in Imo state.
NUPENG General Secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale in a statement made available to Page3news.com.ng said: “The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers wish to use the occasion
of the 2022 May Day to condemn in a very strong terms, the most unfortunate and
avoidable deaths and destruction arising from the explosion and inferno at an
illegal bunkering refinery in a forest at Abaezi, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government
area of lmo State with hundreds loss of lives.
“There is no doubt in the fact that this unfortunate incident is avoidable if not for
the glaring systemic and leadership failure. This kind of calamities have been
foretold severally but those saddled with the responsibility to protect the lives of
Nigerians and the collective assets have turned so blind and deaf to the deafening
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calls for actions and direction for the people and the nation”.
Explaining that May Day is usually a time for workers all over the world to reflect on the struggles
of the working-class people from the bondage and shackles of inhumane and
indecent working conditions in the hands of the exploitative and manipulative
Capitalists, Olawale said the inhumane and indecent working conditions have over the years continued
unabated in one form or the other as evident in new forms of employment
including child labour, trafficking, casual, contract and outsourced Labour.
According to him, millions
of Nigeria working people have suffered one form of dehumanisation and
exploitation from the unscrupulous employers, while many have died in the
He said that there is no doubt that the high level of unemployment and struggles for survival
drove these hundreds of able-bodied young men and women to seek for self-help
and died in the explosion that happened at the illegal refinery.
The NUPENG scribe also stated that: “the leadership of our Union is deeply pained by this sad and unfortunate incident
and commiserate with the families of those that lost their loved ones to the cold
hands of this painful deaths. May the Almighty God grant each and everyone of
them the fortitude to bear the pains”.
The high rate of theft of crude is not left out in his statement saying: “We also wish to call on the Federal Government and other layers of government to
rise up to its responsibilities in stemming the increasing thefts of the crude and the
continued loss of revenue. We are seriously bothered that our security forces with
all the tools and equipment seems helpless and incapable of protecting our nation’s
“On daily basis, Nigeria loses millions of barrels of crude to thieves in high places to
the extent that the nation is making next to nothing income. While our nation’s
refineries remained comatose, illegal refineries keep springing up and spreading
everywhere in the country while all layers and levels of authorities remain
insensitive and careless about this terrible situation.
“More disturbing is the very apparent lack of political will by the political leadership
to give clear directives and concrete steps to take in addressing this unfortunate
turn of events. Our nation is bleeding, and we are strongly demanding from the
political leaders to rise up and lead appropriately.
Comrade Olawale however implored and strongly warned its members to
avoid working for these unscrupulous illegal refinery owners. “NUPENG is a Union
for workers in legitimate Oil and Gas businesses and any member caught working
for or aiding any form of illegal Oil and Gas business shall not only