Chineme Okafor in Abuja
After years of internal struggles between two factions for the leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), a new president, Sanusi Abdu Fari, yesterday emerged to lead the embattled association for the next three years.
Fari, who emerged as the next president of the association in a congress that took place in Abuja, would now take over from a former factional president of the association, Chief Lawson Obasi, who for the larger part of his term in office, battled with another factional leader of the association, Chinedu Okoronkwo, for control of IPMAN.
However, Obasi was said to have successfully completed his three years in office this month, thus paving the way for a fresh congress and the emergence of Fari through the provisions of the association’s constitution.
For the length of time the association was engulfed in its leadership troubles, its members who largely provide petroleum products to far-flung parts of Nigeria, could not comfortably operate. They also at a point lost business relationship with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which refused to deal with any of the factions after several attempts to reconcile them failed.
But in his inaugural speech, Fari said he would uphold the constitution of the association and the collective will of all IPMAN members.
He also said his emergence as president had opened a new chapter of unity and progress for IPMAN, adding that the periods between 2014 and 2017 was a turbulent era in the history of IPMAN.
According to him: “It is the period we pray never to resurface as IPMAN moves to accomplish its objectives.”
He further said: “It is my pleasure to state unequivocally with humility that the long awaited and desired peace in IPMAN has finally arrived by my emergence as the national president.”
Noting that his emergence as the new IPMAN president was the desire of all peace loving marketers who believe in the 1997 constitution of the association which made provision for succession, Fari stated that the association has retraced its steps and would now take steps to reposition itself.
According to him, the constitution said that at the end of the tenure of each of the presidents, his deputy will automatically succeed him as the new president.
He added that he was the former vice president under Obasi’s leadership and with the termination of Obasi’s tenure this month, he automatically emerged the new president.
Similarly, in his remark, Chief Adewonyi Kolawole from the South Western Zone expressed his delight with the emergence of the new president and assured him of support from his zone while his tenure lasts.
Kolawole also said IPMAN in the South Western Zone has nothing like factions because they are united.