The Cross River State branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has stated it may soon quit distributing and selling petroleum products in the state owing to police harassment.
Robert Obi, Chairman at IPMAN’s Calabar depot stated this following another invasion of the union’s secretariat.
He also accused the police of disobeying a court order prohibiting police from meddling in its affairs.
Obi said: “When we approached the policemen in our office what they are doing, they told us there is an ‘order from above’ to come and take over our office at the Calabar Depot.
“This is an act of impunity, we shall not hesitate to withdraw our services because the police have no business in how we run our affairs; neither do they have the right to determine who and who our members are.”
He continued, “Rather than the police authorities enforcing law and order and restoring peace in the association, they were igniting a fire and trying to impose a leadership on the members, especially in the Calabar Depot, thereby creating an “unknown faction to take over our secretariat at Calabar Depot.”
“We want to draw the attention of the general public to the continued harassment of our leadership and some members of IPMAN in the name of enforcing a directive by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG). We were surprised that about 6 pm, a police team from federal housing stormed our secretariat and tried to force us out and install an illegal leadership.”
Obi also noted that their last option would be to embark on an indefinite strike in the days ahead urging appropriate authorities to intervene to stall foreseeable hardship.
“It is the economy and the public that would suffer the consequences of the strike as other branches would not hesitate to join us in the fight to liberate IPMAN in the zone. So, we call on the federal government and police authorities to call their men to order.”
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