The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Delta State has condemned the planned strike called by a section of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG in the state.

A statement by the Sector ‘C’ Command of the Surveillance and Enforcement Team of IPMAN, Delta headed by Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro on Monday said the attention of the Sector ‘C’ Command has been drawn to a campaign of calumny by the supposed NUPENG impostors, who are attempting to make the IPMAN Surveillance and Enforcement team unable to achieve its mandate of apprehending pipeline vandals, oil thieves, product adulterators; perpetrators of sundry crimes in the petroleum industry in Delta State.

Eshanekpe alleged that these people who masquerade as members of NUPENG have consistently attacked IPMAN personnel at checkpoints where they apprehend products thieves, product adulterators, pipeline vandals conveying stolen products.

These frequent attacks by those the IPMAN chiefs termed as hoodlums, are becoming too frequent lately coupled with deliberate blackmail of the IPMAN outfit allegedly by the duo of some officials of NUPENG (names withheld), who he said are the pivot of the attacks on the Sector ‘C’ Surveillance Team.

Eshanekpe, an ex-militant leader stated “Only yesterday, the duo allegedly led hoodlums to attack the position of the Surveillance Team at Uzoro, Delta State.” “This” he said, “is one in a series of such attacks, where they carted away their valuables boasting that they will instigate industrial action among NUPENG members in the state over the activities of the IPMAN Team.”

According to Eshanekpe, except those he described as hoodlums are saying the IPMAN team should abdicate the responsibility of apprehending oil thieves, vandals and other criminals in the oil sector to disgruntled elements, whose stock in trade is to shield the economic saboteurs in the industry for them to be happy with us; ” this, we shall never do and it means they will never be happy.”

“We are not negotiating our operations with criminal suspects who are the ones vandalising pipelines, stealing products and adulterating same for easy and quick money.

“IPMAN Surveillance Team,” Eshanekpe maintained, “operates under the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, to stamp out criminal elements from the downstream oil sector and no amount of criminal brigandage can stop our operations.”

“Only criminals are against the operations of the IPMAN while law abiding operators in the distribution chain are extremely happy with our activities. If your tanker is laden with stolen or adulterated products, it will be impounded and nobody can stop us,” he said.

“We have achieved a whole lot since our operation began early this year. The Operation Delta Safe, OPDS of the Nigerian Army have been strong in their collaboration with our team making us succeed tremendously. The police have also been lending a helping hand and all these cooperations have enhanced our operational success.

“If you will embark on strike because IPMAN Team arrest criminals, that’s for you to explain what your interests are to the security agencies at the right time. How on earth will supposed patriotic citizens threaten to instigate strike because economic saboteurs are being given sleepless nights? This is left for the gang leaders to explain to Nigerians. We owe it a duty to stop sundry crimes in the downstream petroleum sector particularly in Delta State, ” the fearless IPMAN boss stated.


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