Armed members of vigilante group led by some Kogi State political appointees “invaded” Dangote’s cement plant at Obajana, injuring at least, seven workers.
The incident, according to reports took place in the early hours of Wednesday.
Among the top political appointee that led the team include the director-general of lands, commissioner of solid minerals, senior special assistant to the governor on security and Kogi State ALGON chairman among others.
The vigilantes numbering over 500, according to the company also had a misunderstanding with a few policemen at the comonay’s main gate, as they shot sporadically into the air to disperse all staff and communities members.
They eventually succeeded in locking both entrance and exit gates of the company, leaving many workers stranded.
Condemning the action, members of the mining and host communities described it extra-judicial and unlawful.
A local source who identified some of the assailants as thugs said most of them were drawn from state’s vigilante team and hunters working for the state government.
David Oluruntoba, spokesman for the Oyo mining host community, condemned the act, saying the youths of the community will never be used, and will not take part in such “evil practices.”
“They called us to join them. But I told them that the company has not offended us. We just signed a Community Development Agreement (CDA) and the company has been helping us and providing us with jobs. What has the government done for us, nothing. There is no basis to support the government,” David said.
Also speaking, the spokesman for Iwaa mining community, Rotimi Kekereowo berated the unjustified action of the Kogi government, saying, “we will never support government on this matter. What have they done for us? We don’t have a single political appointment at the state level. Even when we have problems of electricity and flooding, it was Dangote that would help us. So, I want to repeat it. We will never support them.”
In his words, the Olu of Akpata, Fredrick Balogun said he was never contacted and as such cannot justify the unwarranted invasion.
“We are royal fathers, and we will continue to seek the path of reconciliation and amicable resolution of any misunderstanding. We don’t have issues with the company,” affirmed the monarch.
Mathew Ojonuga, a resident lamented that important issue like flooding in the state which has rendered many homeless has not been attended to by the government only for it to be chasing private companies that have been providing them with means of livelihood.
”The state governor should face the issue of flooding and let the people live in peace. If there are issues, let him employ dialogue and resolve it rather this kind of use of force,” said Matthew.
Efforts to reach Kogi State Police Command failed as its spokesperson neither respond to calls not SMS sent by WikkiTimes.