NUPENG, PENGASSAN seek national honours for unions’ leaders

NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) leadership said it was pleased with the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to officially announce “June 12” as the new date to replace the traditional “May 29” as Democracy Day

Its National President, Comrade Prince Williams Akporeha, in a statement, said: “We also commend the President for conferring a posthumous GCFR title on the winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (of blessed memory), and GCON titles on his running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe as well as the late legal icon and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, posthumously for his role in the actualisation of the June 12 polls.

He said the unions were, however, stunned that such high profile national recognition and honour was offered by the Presidency and no credit whatsoever was given to NUPENG and its sister union, PENGASSAN despite the roles played by their leaders.

“Without contradiction, the democracy Nigeria enjoys today did not come on a silver platter, the leadership of these unions as well as our members fought for it, in some instances with our blood, tears, freedom, career and regrettably some paid the supreme price.

“As responsible oil unions with long road to freedom and indelible footprints, we have left behind in the chequered history of the Nigeria, without sounding immodest, we believe names like Comrade (Chief) Frank Ovie Kokori (NUPENG former General Secretary), (late) Comrade Wariebi Kojo Agamene (former President of NUPENG), former General Secretary of PENGASSAN Comrade (Chief) Milton Gilchrist Dabibi and others should have featured prominently on that list.

“These fearless and irrepressible Nigerians gave their all to earn the country democratic liberty. For pecuniary gains and other reasons, some other Nigerians pitched their tent with the tyrannical military regimes, but our leaders were resolute and blatantly refused to compromise or to receive any form of gratification, despite intimidation, victimisation, harassment and incarceration by the military despot.

“We, therefore, use this veritable medium to appeal to our listening National leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his think-tank to look inwards and make necessary amends by reviewing this list so as to accommodate the names of these veterans mentioned above.”

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