The Kogi government says it has asked the management of Dangote Group to ensure that the Obajana Cement Company remains shut within the next two days.
Over the past few days, the Kogi government and Dangote Cement, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, have been at loggerheads over the ownership of the cement plant.
Subsequently, the state government said it commenced the process of recovering the cement plant from Dangote Group, alleging that the purported transfer of the facility to Dangote Cement was not “proper”.
However, Dangote Group said its acquisition of the cement plant followed due process contrary to claims by the state government.
Nonetheless, the state government on Wednesday, in a statement signed by Kingsley Fanwo, commissioner for information and communications, insisted that the company must present requisite proof of acquisition to the Kogi state panel on the acquisition.
According to the statement, the state government also ordered the immediate release of impounded trucks — belonging to Dangote Group — across the state.
It added that the Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, thanked the citizens for their resoluteness in the ownership tussle between the Dangote Group and the state government.
However, he asked the state residents to remain calm and law abiding.
“While the state government recognises the right of the citizens to peaceful protest as we witnessed across the state yesterday; we urge the people to remain civil, law abiding and give room for constitutionalism,” the statement reads.
“Breakdown of law and order will not be in the interest of anyone as we hope to remain the most peaceful state in Nigeria.”
“To this end, the governor has directed that trucks loading cement that are impounded across the state be released with immediate effect to either return to the plant or go to their destinations peacefully.
“As a state, we must retain the peaceful and business friendly environment that have attracted scores of investment giants to the state in the last seven years.
“The governor has also urged the management of Dangote Group to ensure the cement factory at Obajana is shut down within the next 48 hours in honor of the legislative arm of government which ordered the plant sealed until the Dangote Group furnishes the legislature with the requisite documents demanded by the legislature. As a government, we will defend and protect all government institutions against impunity.
“The governor also wishes to assure the people of the state of his unwavering commitment to defending their interest without compromise. As the face of the struggle with the over four million Kogites behind him, he will ensure the interest of the state is defended with a high sense of integrity, responsibility and allegiance through democratic instruments.
“We call on the people to remain calm and law abiding as well as continue to have faith in the leadership of the governor to deliver on the mandate of the people to take back what belongs to them.
“We also urge security agents to be on red alert to prevent anarchy in the face of the boiling anger of the people against exploitation and oppression. We can only win the battle ahead with cool heads.”