Abuja — As the crisis bedeviling the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) continues to fester, past national presidents group and leaders of the 21 petroleum products depots across the country have thrown their weight behind the national leadership of Chinedu Okoronkwo.
Okoronkwo was elected last week by IPMAN as National President, a process hotly opposed by another faction led by Obasi Lawson who also lays claim to IPMAN presidency But rising from a meeting in Abuja past leaders of the group which also included five zonal officers reaffirmed the election of Okoronkwo and other national officers of the association.
While pledging their support for Okoronkwo, they agreed that IPMAN members should continue to ensure that there was no shortage of petroleum products across the country. Speaking to newsmen after their expanded crucial meeting called to find a lasting solution the crises, the stressed that no member can become the president of the association without going through an election.
A former national president and trustee of IPMAN Bestman Aniekwe who condemned the lingering leadership tussle, said "we the former Presidents of IPMAN and elders of IPMAN hereby reaffirmed the validity of the election of the 10th May 1014, which produced Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo as IPMAN National President and other elected executives of IPMAN. We hereby endorse this election and we will continue to give them our support".
Another former president, Habu Jajire explained that "as former leaders of IPMAN we are saddled with the responsibility of bringing peace and stability to the IPMAN. I rose through the ranks; I was a marketer, secretary of a depot, chairman of a depot, Deputy National President of IPMAN before I finally became the National President of IPMAN. I have never seen where President comes through the court.