N97 fuel price: Petroleum dealers threaten to shut down in Enugu, Imo, Anambra
From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Friday January 27, 2012

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states have threatened to shut their fuel stations if the affected state governments fail to disband all the task forces currently intimidating and harassing their members.

The association after its emergency meeting in Enugu, yesterday, also said it had given the three state government 24-hour to unconditionally release all its members detained by the task forces at different police stations and stop extortions and intimidation of its members in the guise of enforcing the new pump price.

Chairman, IPMAN Enugu Depot, Mr. Linus Mgbakaogu, lamented that the task forces, especially in Anambra State collected huge sums of money from their members which makes it difficult for the markets to break even in the sales of the fuel which he said was bought at exorbitant prices during the period of subsidy removal but are now being forced to revert to the new pump price.

He therefore, called on the state governments to quickly disband the task forces because of their impunity, stressing that their members had complied with the new pump price of N97 per liter but that if the state governments failed to release all their detained members and disband the task forces, it would within 24-hour commence strike in the states.  Linus Mgbakogu who addressed newsmen shortly after the emergency meeting at their Enugu secretariat said: “The resolution of the meeting is that we have accepted the N97 pump price and we are going to inform our members in the seven states even though our depot in Enugu is not working.

“What we want the governments to do is that they should withdraw all these people that go to filling stations and beat up people because we don’t know who is who, we only know the DPR.“Government is supposed to come there to collect their statuary levy and not to chase us around. So we are asking the state governments to stop the intimidation especially in Anambra State where they go about collecting N100, 000 and above, beating people up and putting them in cells.

“We are also asking all the state governors and commissioners of police to unconditionally release our members in their cells and if they don’t do that within 48-hour we will close shops.”

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