BENINâ€”THE simmering crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the Benin Depot of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has taken a new twist as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the association, Mr. Douglas Iyike was attacked at the premises of the NNPC Depot and beaten to pulp by thugs.
Mr. Iyike and his committee were recently inaugurated by the national leadership of IPMAN after several years of crisis at the depot and were given the mandate to conduct election into the association within three months.
The thugs, allegedly said to be loyal to one of the factions involved in the crisis, were said to have accosted Mr. Iyike in front of the NNPC Depot and inflicted injuries on him before he was rescued by a team of policemen from the State Operation Thunder Storm, who were on patrol.
Vanguard gathered that Caretaker Committee Chairman was on a visit to the Benin Depot Unit where had gone to sensitize members of the association on how to move the association forward.
It was gathered that the thugs, who were armed with sophisticated weapons fired several shots into the air to scare workers and customers, who ran for their lives to avoid being cut up the ensuring fight.
Speaking with newsmen at an undisclosed hospital in the city where was rushed, Mr. Iyike pointed accusing fingers on the Petroleum Tankers Drivers Union and some members of the dissolved executive of IPMAN as responsible for the attack.
He recalled that an Edo State High Court, Benin, had restrained the members of the dissolved executive of IPMAN, their agents, servants or privies from interfering in the operation of the association in the Benin DepotÂ and wondered why the continued disturbance in spite of the court order.
He disclosed that the thugs disposed him of valuables, including documents belong to the union and the sum of N250,000 as well as handsets.
Vanguard, however, gatheredÂ that the disturbances did not affect the operations of the NNPC Depot just a senior staff of the corporation advised members of IPMAN to allow peace to reign in the depot.
When contacted, Edo state Police image amber, Mr. Peter Ogboi confirmed the incident, adding that the situation had been brought under control.