Following the alleged illegal invasion of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) national secretariat by the Nigerian Police, the association has threatened to shut down all filling stations across the country.
This development will cripple the nation’s economy and further create artificial scarcity, which will force queue across filling stations.
The association said it planned to cut down supplies tomorrow should the federal government and Inspector General of Police fail to address alleged illegalities perpetrated by the police force.
In an interaction with newsmen in Jos, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of IPMAN, Mr Yakubu Suleiman, stated that, some men of the Nigerian Police Force were alleged to have invaded IPMAN National Secretariat last Friday for some undisclosed reasons.
Suleiman described the invasion as an illegal clampdown allegedly sponsored by some impostors parading themselves as executives of IPMAN.
Suleiman said aggrieved members and officials at State, zonal and depot levels have met and resolved to shut down filling stations over the incident.
He said, “Whereas there is subsisting Supreme Court judgment of December 2018, that has since disposed of a suit No. SC15/2015, and ordered that Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, is our President and Alhaji Danladi Garba Pasali, as National secretary.
The continued violation of this judgment, even by the police is causing more harm to the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, which if such is not halted will lead to impunity and anarchy.’’
While pointing out that a similar police siege led to the closure of Suleja depot last week, he claimed that the incident would have disrupted petroleum products supplies to Abuja and northern states but for the intervention of the National Secretariat.
Suleiman said, “It is true that members of IPMAN in many states across sections of Nigeria, have met and others are meeting and communicating to us that they will shut down, from Tuesday. The implications would be there will be a shortage or fuel scarcity in the country.’’
The IPMAN PRO called on the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, the National Assembly and Inspector General of Police to intervene in the crisis in order to protect laid down rule of law.
He said, “We are calling on all arms of government including the security agencies to take the necessary action, towards halting impunity in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.’’