By Sebastine Obas
The crisis of leadership rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mid-Western Zone, comprising Delta and Edo states, has continued to deepen by the day.
The crisis erupted following the allegation of unconstitutional anti-IPMAN activities leveled against Messrs Austin Erhabor, Tony Okpemi, Sunny Owuzo, Benjamin Emoefe, Harry Okenini and Theophilus Aruna of the Warri Depot.
Consequently, they were suspended. Their suspension which was circulated in the media was effected by Messrs Solomon Ogbewe and Ezekiel Olusegun, who claimed to be the acting zonal chairman and Secretary, respectively.
However, in a swift reaction, IPMAN Mid-Western Zone in a release signed by Messrs Sylvanus Idanwekhi and D.O. Izodonmwen, Chairman and Secretary respectively, stated that the position of Acting Chairman which Solomon Ogbewe was claiming to occupy is alien to the IPMAN constitution.
According to the release, the IPMAN Mid-Western Zone has only one secretariat and the holding of illegal or any other unauthorised meeting at any at any other office other than the known IPMAN secretariat is an illegal meeting.
It also stated that Mr. Solomon Ogbewe claiming to be the Zonal Chairman Mid-Western Zone amounts to impersonation, and is unconstitutional and anti-association activity.
It therefore declared the suspension of Mr. Benjamin Emoefe (Vice-Chairman) and other IPMAN members in Warri Depot as null and void and to no effect, and advised its members to disregard the said publication in its entirety.
To assert his authority in the zone, the chairman stated, “The Zonal Chairman has hereby mandated the zonal Vice-Chairman IPMAN Mid-Western Zone, Mr. Harry Okenini, in conjunction with other members of the Unit Executive to run the Affairs of the IPMAN Warri Depot unit with immediate effect pending when a new executive will be elected in April 2014, as recommended by the National Assembly (House of Representatives Committee on Downstream Petroleum) and adopted by the Delta State Government.”
Following the directive of the Zonal Chairman, Emoefe, the Vice-Chairman urged all members of Warri unit of IPMAN to disregard the “falsehood and misleading publication purporting the suspension of some key members of the association.”