24 July 2014, Lagos – The leadership crisis rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria APMAN, Aba Branch may snowball into fuel crisis in Abia State and environs, following a threat by a faction of the Aba IPMAN to shut down their outlets to express their anger.
An 18-member caretaker committee with Prince Bobby Eberechukwu Dick as chairman, Emeka Nwaobu, vice-chairman and Oliver Okolo, secretary was inaugurated on July 10, 2014 to run the affairs of IPMAN, Aba Depot for three months as provided for in Article VIII (A) of the 1997 Constitution of IPMAN.
The zonal legal adviser of IPMAN, Ugochukwu Duruaku, inaugurated the caretaker committee.
However, a sub-branch of Aba IPMAN known as Ukwa-Ngwa Indigenous Petroleum Marketers Forum (UNIPMAF) had expressed strong resentment over the inauguration of the caretaker executive committee for Aba IPMAN, saying they were not part of the “imposition”.
This crisis is coming at a time the state government said it has demolished a building belonging to an alleged kidnapper, Ogbuonye Ogbonnaya Daniel yesterday following pockets of kidnappings in recent times.
The demolition of the bungalow located at Umuariaga Oboro in Ikwuano Local Government Area of the state, was the forth time government will pull down a property belonging to identified kidnappers or child traffickers.
In a statement made available to journalists yesterday and signed by its chairman, Chief Godspower Nwadike and the Secretary, Emereole Chiemela, the forum said that the manner in which Prince Bobby Ugochukwu Dick was imposed on the association called for concern.
Contrary to the stand of other members of Aba IPMAN that the tenure of the Sir Gilbert Nwoke-led executive had expired last October, the UNIPMAF group is contending that the tenure of the ousted executive would expire on October 6, 2014, followed by a new election.
Nwadike argued that the position of his group was in line with the IPMAN constitution as contained in the directive, which according to him, was sent to the Eastern Zonal Office by the national executive council of IPMAN led by President Chinedu Okoronkwo.
Alluding to the undercurrent of the crisis the chairman of UNIPMAF, said the Aba depot is controlled by three states namely Abia, Imo and Anambra States, adding that “going by the zoning agreement reached by stakeholders of IPMAN, the position of chairman in the next election is zoned to Abia State.”
“As peace loving and law-abiding citizens of this great state, we wish to state categorically that we disassociate ourselves from the recent crisis going on at the Aba depot, which may force the marketers to take another step,” with said.
Nwadike said it was the view of the members of UNIPMAF that, “the purported caretaker committee led by power-thirsty Prince Dick sworn in on the 10th of July,” in the presence of the Commissioner for Petroleum, Chief Don Ubani “can only cause disaffection and chaos in the IPMAN and by extension the entire depot”.
He insisted that the father of the chairman of the interim committee, who is the chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Eberechi Dick, had earlier vowed to use his office and connection in government to install his son, Prince Bobby, as chairman of IPMAN Aba depot”.
Nwadike therefore called on Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji to intervene in the crisis and use his good offices, wisdom and vast knowledge in governance to resolve the leadership crisis at the IPMAN Aba pepot.
In similar exercises in the past, a buildings belonging to identified kidnapper and another one used for baby factory, all located at Olokoro, outskirt of Umuahia, the state capital were demolished, while a three story building housing a hospital at Aba was pulled down for engaging in rearing babies for sale.
– This Day