By Chinedu Adonu, Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state has doused tension in the lingering crisis the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, Enugu depot was imbued in as he opened their office hitherto shut by the state government.
Recall that as a result of the crisis and the shutting down of IPMAN, they embarked on a temporary strike that saw to filling stations closing shop, Tuesday against buyers of petroleum products.
Ugwuanyi during an extensive meeting that lasted for about four hours urged the IPMAN executives to go and open their office and commence work.
To check the IPMAN crisis, the Enugu State government last year gave an executive order to shut down the office of IPMAN to douse the tension following a faction of chairman led by Tabugbo Nnamani who claimed to be chairman of the union causing crisis in the state.
It was gathered that Ugwuanyi shut down the office to secure lives and properties and allow peace to reign.
Briefing journalists shortly after their meeting with the governor at the IPMAN office in Emene, Enugu, the chairman, Mr. Chinedu Anyaso, commended Governor Ugwuanyi for his excellent decision and prayed God to give him more wisdom to pilot the affair of Enugu state.
Anyaso who disclosed that Ugwuanyi has officially opened IPMAN, Enugu depot secretariat and urged them to commence work, pointing out that they would call off the strike and allow all the filling stations to start selling.
“We held an extensive meeting with his Excellency and he has today officially open our secretariat and has asked us to commence work as IPMAN Enugu depot unit. We are very glad about the outcome of the meeting. And we equally appeal to him to provide us with security both at the office and at the depot so that what happened last year will not occur again.
“We are a united IPMAN now. We will call off the strike and commence work. We are grateful to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. He is the Gbururgburu of Igboland. We pray for the good Lord to give him the wisdom to carry out the functions of the state”, he said.
Earlier before the meeting with the governor, Anyaso said that the Union had resolved to shut down all the filling stations in Enugu and others state which are under their control until their office in Enugu which was locked down during crisis last year is opened to allow them Pdischarge their legitimate work as executive officers of IPMAN Enugu depot.
According to the chairman, “we came here on the invitation of His Excellency, Rt. Hon Ugwuanyi because we demanded from state government to open our office at Emene, Enugu, so that we can exercise our duties legally and legitimately. You can see, all our demands, the government have not met with it.
The issue is that we were inaugurated in office on 12th November 2019 and we wrote to His Excellency intimating him on the appointment and inauguration and the depot community comprising IPMAN, PTD, PEDAN OGS, NATO, PSW and other organ working as cooperative at the community equally wrote to him, that we want to pay him a courtesy call, considering the large community, the governor did not respond to our letters, though was gathered that the letter did not get to him.
“There is a letter from the federal high court Calabar that instructed the security agencies to allow us access to our office and all these have not been met.
Till now we have not heard from the government. So we are tired of such issues and we are here to appeal to the governor to tell whoever that is in possession of the key to open our office to allow us start our work normally because the delay have an adverse effect in the distribution of petroleum within the South East and other neighboring states that we cover.
“The office was shut down around July last year when there was a crisis. The governor gave an executive other to shut down the office to douse the situation but in that statement, he said, without prejudice to that court order that it will not be opened and now there is a court order mandating them to open the office and give us security both in the office and at depot. We are the legitimate people, elected by the whole Enugu depot community”, He said.