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PENGASAN demands for safer Nigeria in week-long security campaign

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By Amaechi Okonkwo,  Port Harcourt

Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN), Port Harcourt Zone began a week security campaign demanding for a safer Nigeria for all Nigerians.

Chairman of the zone, Comrade Peter Onita after visits to the Director of the Department of Security Services(DSS), and the State’s Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday on Wednesday evening told journalists that PEGASSAN condemns in serious terms the ongoing security challenges in almost all parts of the country, the killing of Nigerians and security men without regards to the sanctity of life.

They called all hands to be on deck in the fight for the peace and unity of the country.

Onita said; “Apart from creating the security awareness to the people of the State, PENGASSAN also resolved to institute award to encourage security officers who distinguished themselves in fighting crimes and criminality in the country as a way to end the security campaign week.

“All over the world, the fight against security challenge is the responsibility of every citizen and that of the country, (Nigeria), will not be different. So, we are calling on all Nigerians to join hands with the security apparatus of this nation to at least reduce the rate of insecurity across the country to the lowest minimum if not eliminating it completely.”

The senior oil workers urged the Director of DSS and the Commissioner of Police to send a name each of their most hard working officers for recognition and award at the Union’s security campaign grand finale event at Abuja this Friday.

He said the step is aimed at appreciating the outstanding contribution of the two security organs of the FG to the safety, peace and unity of the country, stressing that their good work cannot be overlooked.

“I have called on the authorities responsible for fixing the Eleme/Ogoni stretch of East West road to fast track the work to save lives and properties”, he equally adding that it was part of their nationwide  weeklong security awareness campaign, tagged “making Nigeria and Nigerians safer and more secured.”

The campaign which started on Monday, August 9, is expected to end on Friday, August 13, with award night to outstanding Nigerians including security officers who have distinguished themselves in the fights against insecurity in the country and for the unity of Nigeria.

Speaking on the deplorable state of the East west road, Onita expressed the supports of the Oil Workers Union on the event of the blockade of road by youths of the area in protest of the poor state of the road.

He said PENGASSAN’s supports for quick government intervention to justify the huge economic importance of the road to it.

 “To say the least, we are truly in support of the total shutdown of Eleme/Ogoni area of East-West road by youths of the area last week to protest the deplorable state of the road, and we join our voice to those of several others that are calling for the rehabilitation of the road without further delays.

It is a shame that a road that holds such amount of economic value to the Governments can be so neglected for decades without any serious work done to maintain, strengthen it”, he further stated.

Onita also informed that, “Some remedial works was done on the road during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, so also during the short period of Late President Umaru  Yar’Adua, as well as the time of President Good Luck Jonathan, and now sitting  President  Muhammadu Buhari, and nothing has been done on it.”

He described as unfortunate the fact that no government has made concerted efforts 

to fix the road.

Onita therefore called on the FG, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs led by Sen. Goodwill Akpabio, to save lives and property of citizens and the economy of the nation by fast-tracking rehabilitation work on the road.

He said it is shameful the way successive governments have neglected the road for several decades and recalled the efforts of the union to draw the attention of the governments on the state of the road.

“PENGASSAN has before now written to call the attention, engages the levels of Governments on the need to fix the road.

“Apart from the fact that some of our members are indigenes of Eleme/Ogoni, many others live around the area; the Governments make huge amount of revenue from that and, (as such), the economic benefits of the road to the country cannot be easily quantified. So, it is only natural that the Governments should prioritize the maintenance of the road without waiting for appeals.

“But for several years now, that has not happened, and that road has become a death-trap to lives of citizens and grave danger to the Government’s business investments, it is indeed unfortunate.

Speaking earlier in a reaction to the Chairman’s address, the State’s Police Boss thanked the group for considering the police for the award and promised to partner and support their activities in the State.


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