The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has threatened to suspend operations in Rivers State over the crisis rocking the State House of Assembly.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, PENGASSAN national President, Mr Babatunde Ogun, warned that if politicians cannot conduct themselves in a manner expected of them, the union would not hesitate to withdraw the services of oil workers to ensure their safety.
He said: “The state of fear that pervades Rivers is a threat to the lives and safety of oil and gas workers and the entire industry.”
It said the crisis was an indication that the government may not be able to guarantee security and protect the lives and property of the people.
While condemning the violence in the assembly on Tuesday which it described as ‘a slap on Nigeria’s Democracy and the Constitution,’ PENGASSAN said the crisis could lead to a breakdown of law and order that could affect not only the state, but other parts of the country if not nipped in the bud.
The violence, it further said, showed that some politicians lacked respect for the Constitution and elementary democratic decorum.
“That is why we would not risk the lives of our members and may have to withdraw them until the situation is under control”, he said.
The statement noted with regrets that those who never fought for Democracy were the ones trying to derail it.
“Several people, especially labour leaders, died for our Democracy to be achieved. Some of us were incarcerated during the struggle to attain this democracy.”
The statement implored all those involved in the crisis to take cognizance of its root causes and pursue peace by reconciling their differences.