Alhaji Bolaji Agbolade, the Chairman of the Ilorin branch of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), on Saturday threatened that the association would withdraw its services with effect from Monday.
Agbolade, who issued the threat at a news conference in Ilorin, said that IPMAN might embark on the strike because the lives of its members were being threatened by vandals of petroleum pipelines.
He bemoaned a situation where those arrested for vandalising fuel pipelines by the police, State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were not properly prosecuted.
“Pipeline vandalism is an economic sabotage; we are worried about a situation where suspects are arrested and released within a few days without prosecution.
“We want to say that as from Monday (Feb. 13), we will likely withdraw our services and fuel will not be sold at the Ilorin Depot to any filling station.
“About two years ago, the police arrested five persons and they were each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by the Federal High Court but the convicts were released two weeks ago by another court.
“IPMAN maintains the pipeline from Ibadan to Ilorin. We spent about N5 million every month to protect the pipeline; we have spent about N70 million on protecting the line in the last one year,” he said.
Agbolade, therefore, called for the intervention of the state government in efforts to arrest pipeline vandals and prosecute them.
He also called for the re-arrest of the convicted pipeline vandals who were recently released by a court and security agents.