Petrol scarcity is imminent in Eastern parts of the country as Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says it will suspend distribution of products to area effective Monday in protest against alleged harassment of its members by police.
A notice for the strike was contained in a circular signed by Alhaji Sanusi Fari, national president of a faction of IPMAN.
In the circular, which was made available to newsmen yesterday in Awka, Anambra State by IPMAN Secretary, Mr Chidi Nnubia, IPMAN warned that its members would, from Monday withdraw their services including dispatch of petroleum products to Eastern Zone comprising: Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and Port Harcourt Depots.
“Following series of unwarranted attacks by police against IPMAN, Eastern Zone comprising the NEC of IPMAN resolved that members should 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.
Nnubia told newsmen that the action was to protest forceful eviction of a duly elected executive of the union on Friday at the Port Harcourt depot by the police to pave way for a group not known to the members to take over affairs of the association.
The secretary stated that 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.
“We are using this opportunity to call on inspector general of police to intervene and prevail on his men so that they can allow leadership of IPMAN recognised by law to have access to their office in Port Harcourt depot.
“We will not allow reign of impunity in IPMAN, so we have resolved to withdraw our services in the Eastern zone indefinitely until legality is restored,” he said.
When contacted, spokesman for Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni explained that police acted in compliance with a directive based on a Supreme Court order.
He stated that the two factions involved in the IPMAN leadership tussle were invited by commissioner of police who read the judgement to them and the directive that beneficiaries of the judgement should be allowed to enjoy the order.