By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – A social Mobilization group, Enugu Democratic Frontier, EDF, has commended the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for banning the activities of the Independent Petrol Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN in Enugu State.
The group posited that the governor has shown leadership by forestalling what would have snowballed into a full scale violence and loss of lives and property in the state.
Recall that the governor had last week through a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mrs. Josephine Onyia, said the proscription of the activities of IPMAN was informed by the protracted crisis bedeviling the state chapter of the body.
He stated that “a committee comprising the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services and other relevant stakeholders will be constituted shortly to take charge pending the return to normalcy.”
However a faction of the association led by Chief Tagbo Nnamani had on Thursday described the governor’s action as “hasty, reckless and in bad faith.”
Speaking through his counsel, Chief Awforkansi Nnadiume, the factional leader stated that the governor, by the action, had interdicted the judgment of the Supreme Court that empowered the his executive to assume office by February 12 this year.
But Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Enugu, the coordinator of EDF, Barr Okey Ugwu said that it was within the governor’s constitutional right to act swiftly by invoking the doctrine of necessity in conformity with the common law principle in order to avoid a total breakdown of law and order in the state.
“The action of the government of Enugu state in proscribing the operations of the IPMAN is right in law and not in any way in conflict with the Supreme Court judgment.
“It is in conformity with the common law principle that the doctrine of necessity is an exception to the rule of law. The violent disposition and act of the warring parties absolutely justifies the Governor’s pronouncement and does not tamper with the judgment of the Supreme Court.
He further stated that the governor should be commended by all because as the chief security officer of the state he has the right to protect his citizens.
“The governor is the chief security officer in the state and has the responsibilities reposed on him both by the almighty God and the law of the land to protect his citizens.
“The warring parties of the Ipman are trading violence and threats against each other to the extent that two criminal charges are pending in different courts in the state from their unguided Acts. His Excellency has no option other than to invoke the supremacy law, the doctrine of necessity and should be praised,” he concluded.