Thursday, 3 October 2019

Fuel scarcity Looms: IPMAN set to shut down fuel stations in C'River, A'Ibom over police harassment

3 October 2019 

CALABAR -The Indepedent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Calabar Depot, has vowed to shut down petrol stations in Cross River and Akwa Ibom over what they described as incessant harassments of its leadership by security personnel.

NEGROIDHAVEN gathered that the decision to close all the stations was said to have been reached at after series of meetings with critical stakeholders on the new moves by the police authorities from Abuja to arrest the chairman and close down their office in Calabar over alleged leadership crisis.

The stakeholders expressed shock that even after the national leadership of IPMAN and the state government have resolved all the grey areas, the special monitoring unit from IG's office are still haunting the leadership led by Comrade Robert Obi on trump up charges.

Findings by NEGROIDHAVEN show that a crack team of police detectives from IG's office arrived the state police command on Monday seeking for permission to effect arrest of Obi.

This development has created tension among the members just as they were considering closing down all fuel stations in protest against the IG's monitoring team intimidation.

As at noon on Wednesday, some police detectives were seen at the depot parading around the IPMAN secretariat ostensibly to arrest the chairman and take him to Abuja. 

Speaking to journalists in Calabar on Wednesday, the spokesman for the Stakeholders Forum, Comrade Joseph Akan, said they are tired of the hide-and-sick-game being played by police detectives from Abuja who have taken delight in terrorising our leadership.

His words :"Last week some police officers came from Abuja claiming that they are from Inspector-General of Police's office, and this week another set came still claiming they are from the same office for the same IPMAN.

"Please we are pleading with these officers to leave Calabar petrol dealers alone instead of igniting the problem. 

"The state government had intervened in the problem and had resolved whatever issues that were lingering. But it seems to me now that the police from Abuja don't want us to enjoy peace. They are part IPMAN.

"We have suffered a lot in their hands even when the matter is in court. Our members are waiting for last minute directive from their leaders to close shops until they leave Calabar."

Bemoaning the alleged harassments of IPMAN leadership, the immediate past Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Public Communication, Mr Tony Undiandeye, said it is quite unfortunate that at the time peace has returned to the association following government's intervention, the police authorities from Abuja are igniting more fire by alleging there is a petition against the chairman.

Undiandeye, who was the Chairman of Special Committee set up by government to look into the crisis in IPMAN, wondered why police is so much interested in IPMAN Calabar Depot, 

He maintained that there are no problems in the association and they should not create one that could cause breach of public peace thereby resulting to breakdown of law and order.

He called on the members not to shut down their filling stations as such could affect the economy of the state, adding that the government is ready to ensure that the existing peace was not threatened.

When contacted ,the chairman of IPMAN, Calabar Depot Comrade Robert Obi, could not be reached as his phones were all switched off while his office has been shut down as well.

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