Extortion allegation against tanker drivers mutual agreement – IPMAN


By Abiodun OBA

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has disclosed that the allegations of extortion of N200,000 claim by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) was a mutually agreed payment and not extortion.

IPMAN, in the statement signed by its National Secretary, John Kekeocha, described the allegation as false, claiming that it was aware of the statutory monies given to drivers as dispatches where loading expenses are done.

Kekeocha noted that such money was mutual and “has not raised eyebrows in IPMAN’s relationship with the PTDs and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers.”

The National Secretary added: “We are pained with the false allegations and therefore chose to come out to debunk it comprehensively.

“It will be injudicious to mislead the public with your unguided and baseless allegations and we will keep quiet about it. But be of note that he who goes to equity must go with clean hands,” the statement noted.

Recall, a faction of the association had last Wednesday accused the petroleum tanker drivers of imposing an illegal levy on them.

It alleged that the PTD had allegedly exhibited an act of sabotage on petrol distribution by levying IPMAN members N23,000 for each truck loaded at the depot.

National executive committee of lPMAN led by Debo Ahmed said the allegation, “does not hold water as no such money is being paid as alleged.”

He therefore urged its members to jettison any call for strike, stressing that the leadership had always frowned on sharp practices and illegalities.

“This is why over time the issue of petroleum products diversion is but a thing of the past. This is not to say that there are not still some bad eggs and if you engage in it and you paid the price doesn’t mean you have to smear the image of the union.

“Marketers are therefore implored to go about their normal businesses and shun this type of distraction at this time which could be a fabrication of some individuals to put spanners in the smooth running of the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

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