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Edo Company Stakeholders Condemn Killing In Plantation


STAKEHOLDERS of Okomu Oil Plc, an oil palm producing company near Benin City, in Edo state, yesterday called on the federal and state government to fish out those responsible for the recent killing of workers of the company and burning of some hectares of budding palm trees in the company’s farm.

   The stakeholders, which include Association of Okomu Registered Contractors/Suppliers and Community leaders made this call during a  meeting. 

   Unknown gunmen, last week, attacked the farm where some workers were killed.
   At the meeting, leaders of Okomu neighbouring communities recounted several projects successfully executed by Okomu Oil Palm Plc in their various community.

   Describing the crisis as “pure wickedness and acts of criminality,” one of the registered contractors, Mike Akwa said since Okomu had lived up to its corporate-social responsibilities to neighbouring communities, the recent incident is uncalled for.

   He wondered why some disgruntled elements would come up with spurious demands aimed at formenting trouble in Okomu, adding that the company spends several millions of Naira annually to maintain its peaceful coexistence with the communities.

Akwa called on the government to arrest the unfortunate incidence as no one would benefit if Okomu, being a foremost company in agriculture sector in Nigeria, goes down.

   In their various comments, leaders of neigbhouring communities including, Comrade Karaki Amabolor, Mathins Polo of Inikorogha Community and others condemned the killings and burning of 200 hectares of rubber and Palm plantation.

   They appealed to the perpetrators to adopt a peaceful approach of agitation rather than taking the lives of innocent persons, who have chosen legitimate means of livelihood.
   Also in separate letters expressing their condemnation of the action and sympathy to the staff, management and Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Dr. Graham Heffer, the community leaders pledged their support to the oil-palm firm.       

  The communities dissociated themselves from the crisis just as they enjoined security agencies to intervene.

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