EXPOSED: How Plot To Install Peter Okim As Cross River IPMAN Chairman Failed

May 18, 2024 - 16:56
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EXPOSED: How Plot To Install Peter Okim As Cross River IPMAN Chairman Failed

... National President, Stakeholders Affirm Obi

 By Ndifreke BASSEY

Fresh facts have emerged on how plots by some marketers and top government aides to install Mr. Peter Okim Abang as Cross River state chairman of Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) was thwarted by security agents.

Okim, has in the last one year, been rebelling and battling to take over the leadership of IPMAN from Chief Robert Asue Obi-led group by trying to create crisis to give public impression that the the association is factionlised in the state.

THE BEAGLE NEWS checks revealed that Okim has paid courtesy visits to some top government officials including the SSG, Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Commissioner for local government which culminated into the national leadership disowning him and subsequently pronouncing Chief Robert Asue Obi-led exco as the authentic one.

THE BEAGLE NEWS has it on good authourity that the national leadership has on several occasions denounced Okim and his group and subsequently served various government agencies including the security operatives Court rulings and judgments pronouncing Obi as the duly elected IPMAN chairman, Calabar Unit.

It was gathered that after eight years of leadership tussle, Comrade Robert Obi finally emerged new chairman of the Calabar Depot of IPMAN. Obi and other 11 members of the Executive were elected at the AGM/ Special General Meeting/Election held on Monday, December 5, 2023 at DANIC Hotels in Calabar. The new twelve man executive of IPMAN would take charge for three years.

The Calabar Depot IPMAN’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was attended by representatives of National President, Zonal, elders of IPMAN of Calabar Depot unit, representatives of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Petroleum Station Workers (PSW), Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) and Oil/Gas Workers (OGS) and critical stakeholders.

Delivering his acceptance speech after the election, Obi said: "We are fully aware we have been given a serious mandate and we have the capacity to surmount these challenges. We are not going to run a one man business because it's so challenging, we need the support of all to return our business back to where it was.

"We call on all our stakeholders, like the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Petroleum Station Workers (PSW), Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) and Oil/Gas Workers (OGS) not to leave us behind but give us the support they have been giving because what affects one affects the other", he said. 

To further confirm Obi as being at the helm of IPMAN's affairs , he and 20 other IPMAN Depot chairmen attended a world press conference held in Abuja on April 30, 2024. Obi was thereafter confirmed the unit chairman of Calabar by the national president of IPMAN, Alhaji Garima, in the presence of Messrs Peter Abang and Lawrence Agim.

Again, at a meeting held on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 the IPMAN Elders' Council headed by Chief Udah B. Udah, former Chairman of IPMAN, unanimously proclaimed Obi the chairman, signaling the final return of peace to the association.

But barely five months after Obi and his team were inaugurated, Okim again seems not to be relenting in his quest for power as he commenced another round of courtesy calls to top government functionaries and security agents, claiming that he has been installed as the authentic chairman of IPMAN, Calabar unit following a new development.

THE BEAGLE NEWS gathered that a few days back, Peter Okim Abang invited one Chief Lawrence Nworu, a national officer, who claims to be the zonal chairman, and Nworu purportedly pronounced Okim Abang as the new chairman of the Calabar Unit.

After the purported endorsement, the zonal chairman led Okim's group on courtesy calls to the Chief of Staff to the Cross River State Governor, Hon. Emmanuel Ironbar, the new Regional Coordinator of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Mrs. Comfort Ajayi, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 6.

THE BEAGLE NEWS has it on good authourity that at one of the courtesy visits to a top security officer, a call was put across to the national president of IPMAN, Alhaji Garima, who confirmed Obi again as the Cross River state chairman of the association, thereby nailing Okim's ambition.

Sources close to the meeting told our correspondent that after the phone calls, the officer lambasted Okim and his delegation, warning them to stay clear of anything capable of causing breach of public peace as the security agents would not take it lightly with him.

The officer was said to have taken time off to inform the delegation that he is in possession of court documents and police reports all authenticating Obi and his team as the leaders of IPMAN depot , wondering why they embarked on such a visit with the intention of misleading his office and the unsuspecting public.

Sources further said some government officials, Nworu and marketers, who accompanied Okim to the visit, were all taken aback at what transpired blaming him for misleading and embarrassing them.

As at the time of going to press, Larry Nworu has been summoned by NEC to explain why he lied to Chief Of Staff (COS) and the AIG, Zone 6, that he was sent to Calabar by NEC.

A source close to IPMAN in Abuja revealed that Peter and his group may face disciplinary action when they appear before the national leadership on on Tuesday next week.

Speaking on the issue, Obi said:" I remain the duly elected chairman and it has been affirmed by the stakeholders and the national leadership. I would continue to work and partner with the government and security agencies in ensuring that peace would continue to reign.

"The new IPMAN spirit is on reconciliation, peace and harmonisation of interests and not continuous fanning of embers of factional groupings as Okim and Nworu are doing,"