IPMAN leadership crisis deepens as Obasi gets govt backing

Oil workers, member sof PENGASSAN. Photo: naij

Oil workers, member sof PENGASSAN. Photo: naij

THE leadership crisis rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has worsen following the conferment of legitimacy on one of the factions by former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Joel Ikenya.

Reacting to the development, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, who leads one of the factions, said in Abuja that Ikenya went beyond his briefs and lacks the authority to decree a leadership for a professional organization into an existence.

In a letter dated May 25th, 2015 and addressed to the Director-General of the Department of State Security Services (DSSS) and signed by the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Joel Ikenya said: “Following the submission of the report of the Presidential Committee set up by His Excellency Mr. President, to resolve the leadership crisis in IPMAN, one of the recommendations was that Mr. Obasi Lawson be recognized by the Government of Nigeria as the lawful National President of IPMAN.

“Accordingly, I wish to convey His Excellency, Mr. President’s approval of the recommendations on the 20th day of May 2015 and he further directs as follows; that all agencies do recognize Chief Obasi Lawson as the lawful National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN); that your various commands and formations are to be directed accordingly; that the agency strengthens its presence in various NNPC/PPMC deport.

In a similar letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Ikenya asked that all agencies do recognize Mr. Obasi Lawson as the lawful National President of IMPAN and that the various police commands and formation be directed accordingly and that the Police should strengthen its presence in the various NNPC/PPMC depots.

He noted that compliance is with immediate effect.

In the letter to the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Ikenya said “that in line with with the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA’s) enabling laws Obasi Lawson should be accorded all prerequisite and privileges of the office of the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) with immediate effect.

Reacting to his appointment as the IPMAN President, Lawson Obasi said the recognition is in order and the whole marketers are very pleased about the step which, according to him, will go a long way to stop the incessant scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

His words: “As you know we control over 60% of the retail outlets in the country and this recognition will strengthen the association as it is the wish of the majority of the members. On deregulation, we are totally in support of deregulation as it encourage healthy competition and alleviate the suffering of the masses in their bid to get the product. Deregulation will attract foreign investors into the industry who will bring in their funds.

“We are calling on the Federal government licenses to investors to establish modular refineries, small small refineries to eradicate scarcity of the product and bring down the cost of the products as it will engender stiff competition, like what is happening in the telecoms industry.”

But in a swift response to the ‘appointment’, Okoronkwo said Ikenya erred and that government lacks the authority to appoint leadership for professional bodies as well as trade unions.

He further noted that Lawson did not at any time contest election and then wondered why a former government official will decree a person into leadership position without election.

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