The 5-year-old leadership tussle that rocked the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), seemed to have been put behind after the association held its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Awka, Anambra State capital with a resolve to move ahead as a family in order to key back into the nation’s petroleum sector.
The National President of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, who reconciled members of the association and unveiled his blueprint for the way forward, said the crisis that rocked the association’s leadership since January 20, 2014 was brought to an end by the Supreme Court’s verdict of December 14, 2018 which affirmed his executive as its authentic leadership.
Okonkwo, while bemoaning what he termed huge material, financial and mental losses the members incurred while the leadership crisis lingered, commended members for remaining steadfast to the ideals of the association.
The President and his executive received a standing ovation from the well-attended meeting from delegates who came from all chapters and units, especially when it was resolved that his tenure was to commence from December 14, 2108.
He said the judgement had brought to an end the division generated by the leadership crisis between him and Chief Obasi Lawson, adding that he would run an open door policy “because this association belongs to all of us; and we are here to serve you all.”
Among key decisions taken at the AGM was reconstitution of IPMAN Board of Trustees(BoT), bringing the number from the South East, South West, North East and North West to three each while Midwest was to be represented by two -Chiefs Solomon Ogbowe and Peter Konkon, while Mrs Aisha Labaran-Maku was elected its National Woman Leader.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Alh. Yakubu Sulaiman noted that the meeting was holding for the first time in Awka to take decisions to reposition the association and recover lost grounds in the industry and among stakeholders.
A member of the House of Representatives and Adviser to the association, Hon Danlami Mohammed Kurfi, who represents Dutsimma/Kurfi Federal Constituency of Katsina state, described the Awka meeting as historical, because according to him, the reconciliation would bind them together.
One of the new members of the BoT, Dr Austine Ndigwe, described IPMAN as the biggest association and player in the nation’s petroleum downstream sector which cannot afford to exclude itself permanently from the scheme of things in the nation’s economic wellbeing.