The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Calabar Depot has again said it was shutting down operations in the Eastern zone due to alleged attempts by the Police to foist a factional leadership across Enugu, Aba, Rivers and Cross River state chapters.
In early September, the national president of the association, Alhaji (Engr.) Sanusi Fari, in a statement noted with dismay the incessant attack by men of Nigeria Police Force, and directed its members to withdraw their services from all loading depots if police harassment continued.
However, the group said the harrasment had taken another shape as a crack team of policemen from Federal Housing Police Division Calabar, at about 6:00pm on Thursday, September 29, 2021 invaded IPMAN Calabar secretariat.
IPMAN Calabar depot chairman, Comrade Robert Obi, told Journalists in Calabar, weekend, that the issues concerning who the authentic chairmen and national president were, have been settled by the Supreme Court.
Wondering what the interest of the Police in IPMAN affairs are, Obi explained that the Supreme Court judgment of February 21, 2019 and that of Federal High Court Calabar dated June 19, 2019 have settled the succession tussle.
He posited that “both judgements recognised automatic succession of the Deputy National President, Alh Sanusi Abdu Fari, as National President of IPMAN, based on 1997 constitution of the association.
“We want to draw the attention of the general public to the continued harassment of our leadership and some members of IPMAN in the name of enforcing a directive by a top Deputy Inspector-General of Police. We were surprised that on Thursday, 29, 2021 abot 6;00pm, a police team from Federal Housing stormed our secretariat and tried to force us out and install an illegal leadership.
“And if this act of impunity continues, we shall not hesitate to withdraw the services of our over 500 members. Besides, we would go further to shut down the over 20 depots in our branch and close down over 400 petrol stations to protest the attack on our office and harassment of our members.
“The police have no business in how we run our affairs; neither do they have the right to determine who and who our members are. They have attempted to take over our secretariat in Port Harcourt, our members resisted them there. Now they have come down to Calabar to chase our members out of our secretariat and we shall continue to resist such illegal moves.
“Our last option is to embark on an indefinite strike in the days ahead. It is the economy and the public that would suffer the consequences of the strike as other branches would not hesitate to join us in the fight to liberate IPMAN in the zone. So, we call on the federal government and police auhorities to call their men to order.”