Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okonkwo, has overruled the Borno State Chairman of the association, on the purported directive to its members to shut down petrol stations nationwide.
The Chairman, Borno State chapter of the association, Alhaji Mohammed Kuluwu, had earlier on Tuesday, directed its members to suspend their services nationwide until further notice.
He cited the difficulties being encountered by their members in sourcing of petrol products, and selling at a loss, as reason for the action.
The statement obtained by Ikengaonline read in part: “Following the critical situation as it affects our sourcing and selling of product at loss and the action of the authority to impose the selling of product at a loss price on our side.
“You are all hereby, directed to suspend selling at all filling stations and also suspend payment of, or ordering products from source until further notice.”
But in a swift response as the statement by Kuluwu continued to generate tension across the country, IPMAN’s National President, Elder Chinedu Okonkwo, urged members of the public to discountenance the statement.
“He should not have issued the statement. In fact, he has retracted it,” Okonkwo said.
In the retraction issued later, Kuluwa said: “Having met with the concerned authority, all filling stations should open with immediate effect. Continue selling while the association continues with further consultation and accordingly keep you informed.”
There has been nationwide outcry against the exorbitant cost of petrol products as a litre of petrol sells for N500 in most Nigeria cities.
The scarcity of petrol products plus as well as scarcity of currency notes have imposed hardship on citizens, sparking protests in some cities.