Emerging details reaching newsheadline247 indicate the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) is heading towards avalanche of leadership chaos if the ongoing silent agitations for change of guard of the union is not addressed on time.
Information gathered alleged the current national president of the petroleum workers’ union, Igwe Achese’s two-term tenure has expired and that he has cunningly been truncating all moves for fresh elections to take place and allow new leadership to take over from him.
Newsheadline247 understands Mr Achese mount the seat of leadership of NUPENG in 2009 after winning a keenly contested election. After the expiration of his first term in 2013, he contested and won again, a victory that gave him an 8-year two term as allowed by the union’s constitution.
“His tenure expired in 2017 and an election was supposed to have been conducted to usher in new executives but Achese has continually been giving unconstitutional excuses to remain in power,” a source stated.
The NUPENG president was also alleged to have been avoiding meetings with past leaders and key stakeholders of the union. Apparently dodging from being forced to pave way for new leaders.
It was learnt that sometime in June 2017, Achese openly refused an invitation for a meeting on the brewing leadership crisis of the union with Mr Frank Kokori, a respected and former national leader of the union.
Also in August 2017, the source stated, “former general secretary of the union who is now a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Joseph Akinlaja also called him but he gave him flimsy excuses and walked away.
“And in October or November another former national president who is now also a member of the federal house of representatives, Hon. Ohiozoje Peter Akpatason and Hon. Akinlaja met with him again and this time, he told them that it was the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union that will fix date for the delegates conference.
“But in December 2017, when the Central Working Committee (CWC) & National Executive Council (NEC) had a meeting with Mr Achese and the acting general secretary, Joseph Ogbebor, they both pleaded for another 90 days’ extension which ended on the 3rd March, 2018.”
The request for a 90-day extension was granted but the union president and members of his executive are still at the helms of affairs of the union, a development that has not gone down well with members.
Further checks revealed in early February, 2018 when there seems to be no signs of transition program, the NEC met with Achese and demanded for a date for the delegates conference.
“And there, Mr Achese whose extended tenure ends on 3rd of March promised to give a date by the second week of February refused to keep to his words.
“When NEC met again in Abuja on 14th February 2018, he promised again that letters to delegates with date and venue for the conference will be out before 1st of March and he is yet to issue any letter as at today the 7th of March,” the source stated
However, a pained member of the union who spoke to newsheadline247 on condition of anonymity said “It’s obvious he is not willing to relinquish the post he got through votes. There’s no way we will plan to do something as important as NUPENG delegates conference in March and as at the 7th of the same month, a date is yet to be fixed, venue is unknown, invitations, documentations are not available and even campaign among members wishing to contest for positions has not even started.
“It’s an aberration and deliberate ploy to hold on to power and create crisis. Every NUPENG member should rise and help to restore NUPENG good name and integrity. No one is above our union and our constitution is supreme,” the aggrieved member lamented.