A faction of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed its members to suspend the supply and distribution of petroleum products to its designated depots in the Eastern zone starting from Monday, August 2.
The association’s strike notice, contained in a circular issued Saturday by its National President, Sanusi Fari, comes after it alleged the harassment of its members by the police.
IPMAN, which supplies products to depots in Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi, and Port Harcourt, said it became necessary that its members withdrew their services until further notice.
The group said the notice was to protest the forceful eviction of a duly elected executive at the Port Harcourt depot on Friday by the police, to pave way for a group not known to members of the association.
It said the Fari-led national executive had obtained a court order which legitimised its leadership and wondered why the police would allow any group of persons to truncate a legitimate exco without due process.
The group said, “Following the series of unwarranted attacks by the police against IPMAN, Eastern Zone comprising the National Executive Committee of IPMAN resolved that members withdraw their services at these units/depots immediately until further notice.
“The Zonal Chairman, East, should kindly forward (the notice) to chairmen, IPMAN, Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and PH Depots/Units for compliance.
“On Friday, a group loyal to a parallel faction which lost out in the court was led to forcefully take over the IPMAN office at the Port Harcourt depot.
“Dr. Joseph Obele, the lawfully elected chairman of the depot was elected in October 2019 following an election which these people participated in His tenure will expire in 2022; so they should allow him to finish his tenure.
“We are using this opportunity to call on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba to intervene and prevail on his men so that they can allow the leadership of IPMAN recognised by law to have access to their offices at the Port Harcourt depot.
“We will not allow the reign of impunity in IPMAN. So we have resolved to withdraw our services in the Eastern zone indefinitely until legality is restored.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the allegations, the Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers State, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said the action of the police complied with a Supreme Court directive.
Omoni said both parties were invited by the state’s Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, who read the judgement to them and the directive that the beneficiaries of the judgement should be allowed to enjoy the order.
“Both parties were invited by the CP and the order was read to them, so based on that it was enforced,” he said.
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