By Our Correspondent
About seven staff of Dangote Cement, Obajana in Kogi State were shot and several others injured as over 500 armed members of the state’s security outfit, the Vigilantes, stormed the cement factory in the early hours of Wednesday at the alleged instance of the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
The vigilantes’ group was led by the state Director-General of Lands; Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Commodore Jerry Omodara (Rtd), Chairman of Kabba/Bunnu LGA, Chairman of Ijumu LGA and the State ALGON Chairman, Alhaji Taofeek; Senior Special Assistant on Job Creation, Mr. Dele Iselewa and Chairman of Lokoja LGA, Alhaji Mohammed Dansabe.
The vigilante group members were said to be wielding arms of different kinds including local and assorted rifles as residents and passers-by scampered for safety.
As at the time of this report some seven staff of the cement company were being attended to at a hospital over the gunshot wounds inflicted on them.
A source, who identified some of the vigilante men as thugs, said most of them were drawn from state vigilantes and hunters who have been working for the state government.
Mr. David Oluruntoba, spokesman for the Oyo Mining host community reportedly described the act as primitive and disgraceful, saying the youths of the community can never be used, and will not take part in such ‘evil practices’.
He said: “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.”
Speaking in the same vein, the spokesman for the Iwaa mining community, Rotimi Kekereowo, said: “We would never support the 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 with electricity and flooding, it was Dangote that was helping us. So, I want to repeat it. We will never support them.”
Speaking also, the Olu of Akpata, Fredrick Balogun said he was never contacted and as such cannot justify the unwarranted invasion.