The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has stated that it would suspend the distribution of products in the Eastern zone effective from Monday over alleged harassment of its members by the Police.
The strike notice was contained in a circular signed by Alhaji Sanusi Fari, national president of IPMAN and made available by Mr Chidi Nnubia, the Secretary, to journalists in Awka, Anambra State capital, at weekend.
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IPMAN said it would withdraw services including the dispatch of petroleum products in the Eastern Zone comprising Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and Port Harcourt depots.
“Following the series of unwarranted attacks by Police against IPMAN, Eastern Zone comprising the NEC of IPMAN resolved that members withdraw their services at these units/depots immediately until further notice.
“The Zonal Chairman, East should kindly forward to chairmen, IPMAN, Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and PH Depots/Units for compliance,” it stated.
Speaking on the strike, Nnubia, the Secretary, told journalists that the action was to protest the forceful eviction of a duly elected executive at the Port Harcourt depot by the police to pave way for a group not known to them on Friday.
The Secretary said the Fari-led national executive had a Court order which authenticated its leadership and wondered why the Police would allow any group of persons to truncate a legitimate exco without due process.
“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 in 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 to intervene and prevail on his men so that they can allow the leadership of IPMAN recognised by law to have access to their office in 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,” he said.