- The Nigerian oil union has delayed the strike in protest of the spate of kidnappings against workers in the Niger delta while negotiations are continuing with the government, the union has announced.
The Unions threatened last week to pull members out of the Niger Delta following an upsurge in kidnappings of oil workers in the oil rich region.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) secretary general Bayo Olowoshile told members to halt the strike in the emailed statement last night. "A directive shall be given on the next line of action after various scheduled meetings and consultations," Mr Olowoshile said.
The union decided to take action after gunmen shot dead an 11-year-old girl in the oil hub of Port Harcourt and abducted her 9-year-old brother last week. The two were the children of an employee of the Royal Dutch Shell Plc's local subsidiary.
"We are expecting this week to hear from the federal government how they plan to safeguard the lives of our members, their families and property," Mr Olowoshile said.
Armed attacks and kidnappings and hijackings of vessels in the Niger Delta, which is home to Nigeria's oil industry, have cut the African nation's exports more than 20 percent since 2006.
Local reports said a number of militants in the region claiming to be fighting for a fairer share of the region's oil wealth for local people, have resorted to abductions and are out to make money through ransom demands.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main armed group in the region, says it's fighting for the region's poor and it has distanced itself from armed groups engaged in kidnappings for ransom.
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