By Ada Wodu (Punch)

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN on Tuesday shut down its operations in Cross River State and asked its members to withdraw all their services such as lifting and distribution of petroleum products to members of the public.

Cross River State branch chairman of IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, while defending withdrawal of services, said the action was caused by alleged incessant harassment of its members in the Eastern Zone by the police.

Obi stated that the strike was in compliance with the directive of IPMAN national body, adding that security operatives must begin to treat its members with some level of courtesy before they could make a U- turn.

“The duration of the strike is uncertain as it emanates from the national president of the association,” he said.

A statement from IPMAN’s factional national president, Alhaji Sanusi Fari, alleged that marketers in the South-East and South-South were constantly harassed and intimidated by the police and the only way to check the impunity was to down their tools.

Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer, Cross River State Command, DSP Irene Ugbo, said, “I do not think that there is any harassment of IPMAN members by our men.

“If they feel that their members have been facing any form of intimidation, by our men, it’s left for them to come and lay complaints to the command.”

She added that the command had a good working relationship with IPMAN.

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