PTD Drags NUPENG to Court over Open Ballot, Choice Of Lagos As Election Venue

PTD Drags NUPENG to Court over Open Ballot, Choice Of Lagos As Election

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NUPENG

A member of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG in Kaduna Zone, Comrade (Alhaji) Tajudeen Abubakar has accused the General Secretary of the parent body, Afolabi Olawale of coercing electoral committee members to adopt an open ballot system (option A4) over a better option of open secret ballot in the forthcoming national delegates’ conference scheduled for July 3, 2024 in Lagos.

Abubakar in an interaction with some journalists at Abuja airport on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 noted that several leaders and elders of PTD across the four zones in the country have collectively filed a contempt suit against PTD electoral committee members, NUPENG and its leadership, especially the General Secretary for contravening the ruling of the National Industrial Court which stated that the election must be non-discriminatory and all-inclusive.

He added that it was an insult on the collective sensibilities of every member of PTD to hear that the leadership of NUPENG said the delegates are all illiterates and that they won’t be able to write the names of their preferred candidates on the ballot papers, hence the umpire settled for an option A4 electoral system.

According to the union leader, “Hon. Justice O.Y. Anuwe, made a landmark judgement on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 by ordering a fresh, non-discriminatory and all-inclusive election. The Judge in her wisdom also ruled that all suspensions and query letters against Comrade Lucky Osezua, Dayyabu Garga, Humble Power Obinna, Olabisi Akinlolu and his entire team, including cutting off of their source of livelihoods, hy stopping their petroleum tankers from loading at depots, which emanated from NUPENG secretariat and the illegal Chairman Augustine Egbon are null and void. Sadly and to our surprise none of these rulings have been obeyed by NUPENG till date.

“Up till now NUPENG or the Electoral committee have not reconciled the Augustine Egbon and Lucky Osesua’s factions. To also broaden their discrimination against Lucky Osesua and his team they put the venue of the election at Lagos and plan to settle for option A 4 which is also an open ballot. We have video and audio evidence of how our members have continued to suffer harassment, victimisation, intimidation and harmful maltreatment by the General Secretary of NUPENG and his surrogates.

“Elections have consequences, and voters and the umpire should choose democracy that protects the most marginalized and is built on zero discrimination for all. These are the hallmarks of a true democracy. By doing so, we can send a clear message and counter the rising tide of fear, exclusion and hate. PTD is known for decency, discipline and non-discrimination until the digital secretary, Afolabi Olawale came on board and he has destroyed our values and dignity.

“The forthcoming delegates conference is not a general election, it is strictly for some selected few, comprising of Chairmen, Secretaries, Trustees and Treasurers at Unit and Zonal levels, and there is no individuals at these levels that cannot read or write. Therefore it is a treacherous plot by NUPENG to effect discrimination and as well perfect their rigging plans by saying our members are illiterates and that is why Option A4 became inevitable. It is an insult on the collective sensibilities of every member of PTD to hear that the leadership of NUPENG said the delegates are all illiterates and that they won’t be able to write the names of their preferred candidates on the ballot papers.

Abubakar further berated the injustice meted out to Comrade Lucky Osesua, who he described as the preferred choice of the delegates adding that NUPENG should be held for contempt over its disdain for the rule of law and judicial pronouncements.

“There is a duty on everyone to obey court orders. And on no account should anyone fail to obey court orders. I think the journalists should help investigate why the judgements have not been wholly obeyed. I don’t think any responsible union that is worth its salt should disobey court orders because it is the basis for sanity, appropriateness and discipline. If you disobey court judgements, you ridicule the judiciary, the constitution, you ridicule everybody and it is an invitation to anarchy,” Abubakar stated.