…Police Charges Parties Not To Resort To Self Help
By Miracle Enuji
In the light of the ongoing election crisis rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Warri Depot Unit, the Delta State Government through the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice has issued a statement making known its concerted efforts of peace building thus refuting the peddled involvement in the alleged sponsorship of candidates for the body.
The State Government gave these clarifications on Monday, December 4, 2017 at the Ministry of Information when the Commissioner for Justice, Barr Peter Mrakpor briefed journalists on the stand and involvement of the State in the installation of a new executive for the Petroleum Marketers.
Flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, Mrakpor said that the state government has no interest in IPMAN Warri Depot Unit elections, noting that the State is only assisting in creating an enabling environment for the elections as it concerns peace and security.
According to the Attorney General, the Delta State Security Council held a meeting on the 20th of November 2017 with the two factions of IPMAN and agreed that the State should assist in creating an enabling environment for the elections fixed on the 1st of December 2017, adding that at the end of the meeting, he was appointed to represent the government on a committee which had two members each from both factions (BENJOES and ZENO factions) where an agreement was reached that a verification exercise should take place on the 23rd of November 2017, but on the the 22nd of November, BENJOES faction which is the faction of the incumbent chairman pulled out from the exercise, while the ZENO faction went to the Federal High Court Warri on the 23rd of November to sue the incumbent chairman alongside the Attorney General and others.
He further stated that while one party pulled out with the other going to court, the security council resolved that the best thing is to put the election on hold pending when matters involved are resolved adding that the fundamental issue is whether an incumbent chairman is entitled to an automatic second term or he has to stand for an election against the backdrop of the 1997 amendment constitution of IPMAN which clearly states that there is need for a re-election.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Commissioner of Police. CP Zanna Ibrahim has called on the Petroleum Marketers and all persons aggrieved over the postponement of IPMAN Warri depot election to maintain peace and not to take the laws into their own hands.
The Police Boss gave this warning, Sunday, December 3, 2017, following intelligence report that certain persons have threatened to shut down operations at PPMC Warri on 4/112/2017 over the failure to conduct election on the 1st December, 2017, and to drive home their demand for a date to be fixed for the election.
Ibrahim, while noting that the postponement has become necessary in view of the fact that one of the factions to the election did not partake in the screening exercise, calls on all the parties to exercise restraint, more so, since there is a pending suit at the Federal High Court, Warri, filed by one of the factions to the election.
The CP reiterated his call for restraint and peace as security agencies will deal decisively with any person or group of persons who cause damage to any critical infrastructure or breach of public peace.
It will be recalled that Members of the association, stormed the Headquarters of the State Police Command on Friday, accusing the state government of trying to meddle with their election scheduled for December 1 which happens to be a public holiday.
They occupied the premises of the police command carrying placards with various inscriptions to protest against the incidence.
They also alleged that the current leadership of IPMAN was not properly representing their interest and also imposing themselves on members of the association.
The Commissioner of Police who was away from the Command’s headquarter for the Salah celebration, swiftly hurried back to the premises to calm the nerves of the aggrieved protesters.