Following an Executive Order recently issued by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State prohibiting the activities of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, the governor has approved the constitution of a committee on the maintenance of public order to ensure supply and distribution of petroleum products in the state during the pendency of the order.
According to a statement issued by the permanent secretary (General Administration), Mrs. Josephine U. Onyia, the committee comprises representatives of the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police, SP Pius Eziubochi Ugwuala, who will serve as the Chairman; Directorate of State Services, Uche Oko; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Collins Akalawu; the Department of Petroleum Resources, Enugu Zonal Office, Alhaji Gwaram L. Ahmed; the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Permanent Secretary, Inter-Ministerial and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Enugu State, Mrs. Mabel Agbo.
The committee according to the statement would be inaugurated on Monday, July 22, 2019, at the Government House, Enugu at 2 pm.
It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi issued the order pursuant to Section 48 (1) and (2) of the Public Order Law Cap 130 Revised Laws of Enugu State 2004, Section 215(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), as a result of the protracted crisis between warring factions of the IPMAN that has within the recent past given rise to cult activities, gun battles, banditry, continuing threat to public order and human lives and property.
According to the order, “the foregoing has created a general state of insecurity in Enugu State (the “state”), presenting grave danger to lives and property of members of the public in the state.”
The order also expressed deep concern that “the continuance of activities of IPMAN in the state is likely to endanger peace and public order in the state,” stressing that “it is expedient in the interest of public safety, public order, public morality, and for the purpose of protecting the rights, freedoms and lives and property of members of the public in the state and the maintenance of peace, security, and good governance of the state”.
Prohibiting the activities of the association, the order further stated that “without prejudice to the issues in contention between the parties and the rights and obligations of the parties, and without prejudice to any judicial decisions in that regard: the activities of IPMAN in Enugu State are hereby prohibited till further notice.”
It added that “a committee comprising the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Department of State Services shall be constituted to engage the parties with a view to maintaining public safety and public order.”