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PENGASSAN threatens strike over Rivers Assembly crisis

By The Citizen
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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Thursday threatened to suspend its operations because of the violence brought about by the current crisis rocking Rivers State.

A statement by the Media and Information Officer, PENGASSAN, Mr. Babatunde Oke, stated that the situation in the state, where the residents were living in perpetual fear, was a threat to the lives and safety of oil and gas workers, and the entire industry.

Condemning the violent action by members of the state House of Assembly, PENGASSAN described the fracas as a slap on Nigeria's democracy and the Constitution, which it said could lead to breakdown of law and order that would affect not only the state, but spread to other parts of the country if not contained early.

The statement quoted the President, PENGASSAN, Mr. Babatunde Ogun, as saying the violence showed that political leaders in the country lacked elementary democratic decorum and respect for the Constitution.

He said, 'The events in the recent time are strong indications that the government may not be able to guarantee the security and protection of lives and properties of our people. In that wise, we cannot continue to risk the lives of our members and may have to withdraw them until when the situation is under control.

'The action of the Rivers State legislators and other actors in the crisis has shown that our political leaders have no respect for rules, regulations and laws as provided in the nation's Constitution. There are rules governing proceedings of our legislative house, either at the federal or state level, and these rules are entrenched in the Constitution.'