There seems to be a contradiction within the leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), as its President, Alhaji Sanusi Fari dismisses Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman, the association’s National Public Relation Officer, position on petroleum marketers nationwide strike.
The President stated that marketers are neither planning to go on strike nor planning to shut fuel stations nationwide.
He said in a statement issued in Awka and signed by the association’s National Secretary, Mr Chidi Nnubia, that the public should dismiss any information regarding the planned strike.
Suleiman, had threatened in Abuja on Monday that IPMAN would go on strike and shut fuel stations nationwide beginning from Tuesday because the police laid siege on its secretariat.
Suleiman alleged that some police officers laid siege on IPMAN’s National Secretariat last Friday for undisclosed reasons.
He said that aggrieved IPMAN members and officials at states, zonal and depots levels, held series of meetings and threatened to shut filling stations if the issue was not properly addressed.
Suleiman also advised government and security agencies to “halt impunity in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry’’.
IPMAN’s National President, Alhaji Fari, however, urged petroleum dealers and the public to ignore Suleiman’s position.
He also advised the public not engage in panic buying of petroleum products.
“We wish to inform the general public that our members have no plans to shut down any petrol station in the country as there is no reason to take such action.
“Our members are directed to disregard a publication by some persons whose stock in trade is to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government and the PPMC to provide uninterrupted supply of petroleum products nationwide.
“We ask the general public to ignore any information emanating from any unscrupulous individuals attempting to hijack the association for their selfish and profiteering adventure.
“Those individuals lack the capacity to call off our services as they are illegally parading themselves as officers of the association in total disregard and disobedience of a Supreme Court judgment of Dec. 14, 2018.
“We enjoin the public to go about their normal activities as we continue to support the Federal Government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and NNPC to ensure availability of petroleum products across the country,’’ Fari said in the statement.
The IPMAN president condemned attempts by some groups within the association to blackmail the government by calling out marketers for nationwide protest.
Fari said IPMAN was working harmoniously with sister organisations including the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers and the National Association of Road Transport Owners.
He added that IPMAN was also working in harmony with the Petroleum Tankers Drivers unit of NUPENG to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products nationwide.
Fari stressed that any aggrieved member not satisfied with the Supreme Court order should return to court and not resort to an empty threat that might make the motoring public to engage in panic buying of petroleum products.