27 March 2014, Abuja – The fragile restoration of fuel supply across the country may soon give way to the mother of all queues if the leadership crisis currently rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is not urgently resolved.
At the moment there are two sitting presidents of the association with both laying claims to the leadership of the group.
While Mr Obasi Lawson, who was hitherto the East zonal chairman and former deputy president of the union, claims to be president following a court judgment he obtained from the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, the current president, Aminu Abdulkadir, who has been ousted by the court ruling, maintains that his tenure in office has not expired.
At separate press briefings in Abuja yesterday, Obasi alleged that Abdulkadir reneged on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached by the association stipulating election timetable but Abdulkadir denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the election was slated for May this year. Obasi accused Abdulkadir of other wrongdoings including changing and re-registering the IPMAN constitution with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) without the consent of members, a situation that prompted him to approach the court which ruled in his favour and nullified the amendments made to the IPMAN constitution.
But Abdulkadir has refuted the claims, saying, “Our elections was slated for May this year according to the election timetable. Everybody knows that Obasi was expelled from IPMAN due to his anti-association activities.”
Obasi told journalists that he will present the court ruling to relevant government agencies, including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) this week for them to recognise him as the IPMAN president and discontinue interactions with Abdulkadir.
Already the situation is causing some panic in the industry as some members who spoke on condition anonymity said it is capable of disrupting the product supply chain as some marketers may begin to hoard products and create artificial scarcity.
– Juliet Alohan, Leadership