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By NBF News
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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), NNPC Depot, Osisioma, Aba, Abia State have given the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its subsidiary, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) 14 days ultimatum within which to pump petroleum products to Aba depot or all filling stations in the South-east would be shut down and the services of the tanker drivers withdrawn.

The action, which could have started last Friday, was, however, shifted to January 6, 2012 after the intervention of the Abia State Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr. Akujuobi Nkoro, who pleaded with members of the two associations to suspended their planned strike so that people would not suffer this festive period and to allow the government time to sort out things with Abuja over their grievances.

In a joint communiqué issued after their meeting in Aba, IPMAN and PTD said sometime in 2006, PPMC, Aba depot was cut off from supply of petroleum products through its lines and the reason PPMC gave then was the activities of vandals.

They said over the period, they had met the conditions given to them by NNPC through PPMC under which petroleum products would be pumped to Aba depot from Port Harcourt refinery (a distance of 54 kilometers), including repairing of the damaged pipelines by themselves (IPMAN and PTD), yet that PPMC had reneged severally on their promises. They see this action as a marginalization of Ndigbo by PPMC, since Enugu depot the next in line in the South-east had not received products in the past eight years.

The communiqué read in part: 'We held series of meetings with the then PPMC area manager, Mr Oky Ofordile with his management team, but this yielded no fruit not even when we, among other things donated brand new Ford Ranger Trucks to PPMC for monitoring of pipelines.