Northern Nigerian Breaking News

27 Dangote staffers shot by Kogi govt backed armed youths during invasion – Official

About 27 staffers of Dangote Cement, Obajana were shot by state-backed armed youths who stormed the plant to shut it down on Wednesday, as well as destroying some of the company’s property at the plant.
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Managing Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr Michel Punchercos, announced this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Recalls that the youths stormed the cement company alongside some armed vigilante group to enforce the resolution of the State House of Assembly.

The Assembly had on Tuesday after plenary ordered the closure of Dangote over what it described as fraudulent acquisition of Kogi Cement by Dangote Group.

Normalcy has, however, been restored as of Friday with the gates being guarded by armed security men.

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“As you can see, uneasy calm has returned to Dangote Cement Company here in Obajana.”

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“Our worry is the more than 26 people of the company that were shot during the unlawful invasion last Tuesday.”

“We are not exaggerating because we have all the pictures of the wounded. Some of the shot victims were rushed to Specialist Hospital, Lokoja,” Punchercos said.

Punchercos stressed that the welfare of the company’s staff remained a key focus as the company worked hard to minimise further impact on its people and operations.

He said the company had taken steps to get the hoodlums apprehended by the law enforcement agencies, and would ensure that full legal action was taken against them.

“The management of Dangote Cement Plc, wishes to inform members of the public, especially its customers and other stakeholders of the recent invasion of its Obajana Cement Plant, Kogi by armed vigilantes on the orders of the state government.”

A reporter who visited the hospital Friday met some of the wounded victims, who refused to speak on the matter.

“Sorry I can’t talk to you about what happened that day because we have been told not to speak to the press.”

“As you can see one of my legs is bandaged because of a gunshot that hit me while I was in my office,” the victim said.

A check around the wounded showed that a man identified as Tijani was in a critical condition.

A source explained that the claim by the Kogi government that the cement factory initially belonged to Kogi but was shrewdly acquired by Dangote was untrue.

It said that records are available on the acquisition of the company, adding that the record would provide the much needed solution to the crisis.

“While we reiterate that Obajana Cement plant is 100 per cent owned by Dangote Cement PLC, we remain resolute in transforming Africa, while creating sustainable value for our people, communities, investors and customers,” he said. (NAN) 

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