Petroleum products marketers are not planning to embark on any strike or shutdown of filling stations nationwide, the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Sanusi Fari, said on Monday.
Fari is quoted by the association’s National Secretary, Chidi Nnubia, in a statement issued in Awka that the public should ignore any information regarding the purported planned strike.
In what is suggestive of a crisis rocking the ranks of the association, its National Public Relation Officer, Yakubu Suleiman, on Monday in Abuja threatened that IPMAN would embark on a nationwide strike and shut down filling stations from Tuesday if the police did not ledt the siege on the secretariat of the association.
Suleiman accused some police officers of laying siege on IPMAN’s National Secretariat since last Friday for undisclosed reasons.
He said that aggrieved IPMAN members and officials at the states, zonal and depots levels held series of meetings and resolved embark on the strike action if the issue was not properly addressed.
Urging the government and security agencies to “halt the impunity in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry’’, Suleiman said this was affecting the smooth discharge of their responsibilities to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products across the country.
However, in his reaction, IPMAN National President urged petroleum products dealers and the general public to ignore Suleiman’s position on the matter.
He also advised the public not engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the matter was being resolved.
“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 Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (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 December 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 is quoted ro have said in the statement by the Secretary.
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 to ensure uninterrupted movement and distribution of petroleum products.
He said IPMAN was also working in harmony with the Narional Associarion of 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. (NAN)
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