The Imo State government has urged striking oil marketers and tanker drivers in the state to suspend their action and follow due process in the resolution of the conflict.
It reiterated its earlier position that the strike is illegal since the contentious matter of judgment debt is before the Appeal Court.
The commissioner for information and strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, said although what the oil marketers were doing amounted to blackmail and economic sabotage, government had reached out to them to ensure that the strike is called off.
“We have initiated talks with them. But it is important for Nigerians to know that the matter for which they started this strike is still in court. In the eyes of the law, the strike is illegal,” he said.
He disclosed that although the judgment which was obtained by a private firm, Sunaz Oil Nig Ltd against Timik Consult Ltd and Imo State government was done without the knowledge and legal representation from the government, it had not discountenanced it.
“It is instructive here that when the Okorocha administration demolished the petrol station, the marketers restrained themselves from taking the law into their hands by not embarking on any illegal action.
Instead the affected dealer went to court, suggesting that the marketers believe in the rule of law. It is therefore surprising that the same people do not want the law to take its full course by embarking on an illegal action when the matter is still pending in the Court of Appeal,” the commissioner said.