Marketers Demand Compensation For Owners Of 13 Demolished Outlets In Anambra
Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and members of Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria, Anambra chapter have called on Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to adequately compensate its members whose filling stations have been earmarked for demolition.
The marketers made the call during their meeting in Awka, the Anambra capital on Wednesday.
Recall that about 13 functional filling stations in Ekwulobia area had been earmarked for demolition by the Anambra government to make way for a flyover project planned by the state government.
Mr Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Enugu Depot in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu said they were worried about the plights of their members whose outlets were earmarked for demolition by the Anambra government.
Anyaso said IPMAN was appealing to Soludo to make adequate compensation for the owners of 13 outlets and ensure that their families and businesses do not go into misery and extinction.
The Chairman said they had sought an audience with the governor for a dialogue on the matter but expressed regret that the union had not received a response from the government.
He said IPMAN and Anambra government were partners in progress and that the association was not interested in having conflict with it but a mutually rewarding resolution of the impasse.
“We are worried about the suffering of our members who will be displaced by the flyover project at Ekwulobia, there is no form of resettlement for them, so we are calling for adequate compensation.
“We are not interested in having problems with the Anambra government because we are partners in progress, families will be affected, businesses will suffer, we want to meet and discuss with the Anambra government,” he said.
Also speaking, Chief Linus Mgbakogu, the representative of the Southeast in National leadership of IPMAN said the Anambra government should embrace dialogue on possible ways of addressing the plights of victims.
Mgbakogu said IPMAN would act in solidarity with their members to ensure the development project did not bring unbearable suffering to them.
According to him, we will do everything that is legally possible to get the attention of the government.
“Development is for the living, the government should ensure joblessness and poverty do increase as a result of its activities,” he said.
The marketers thereafter directed members to open their stations for business while they await the response of the government.
In a reaction, the Anambra government said the demolition was not targeted only at the marketers but all those whose property situate on the corridor.
Mr Tony Ifeanya, Commissioner for Petroleum said the action of the government was in line with the Land Use Act which provides for compulsory acquisition of land for overriding public interest.
He however assured that the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as one known for due process was not oblivious of the fact that there should be a compensation plan for all those displaced as a result of the project.
Meanwhile, commercial activities in the state had a slow start following shutdown of outlets by
independent marketers across the state.
The closure of the stations our reporter later learnt was to ensure full attendance to the meeting.