The recent closure of a filling station belonging to oil marketing giant; Total in Lagos for allegedly siphoning fuel from pipelines of the Petroleum Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) is recording a backlash in Lagos as security agencies are reported to be allegedly harassing petroleum tanker drivers to take a toll on petroleum tanker drivers.
Shipping Position Weekly correspondent who has been following events since the closure of the station reports that most tanker drivers are been subjected to sever questioning by security operatives; especially, the Police.
They alleged that many of them have been harassed and arrested by men of the Nigeria Police on the grounds that they wanted to be sure that they are not involved in illegal bunkering.
“They stopped one of our tankers after loading from Ibru jetty and asked for his waybill, when the driver crossed over to report the issue to the union, the Policemen took off”.
However, officials of the petroleum tanker drivers (PTD) unit of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers Union (NUPENG) who spoke anonymously exonerated members of the union from the Total filling station saga.
According to him, in spite of this, Police still look out for tanker drivers on the highway asking for unnecessary documents.
He disclosed that the five members of the union who were arrested a week after the fuel siphoning incident have been released on the order of the commissioner of Police after the union threatened to go on strike.
He wondered why tanker drivers were still being harassed even after investigations have shown that none of their colleagues were involved in the theft of petrol.
Meanwhile, all those who were arrested in connection with the case are still in Police custody while the fuel station remained under lock and key and under the watchful eyes of security personnel.