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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Obajana Ownership Tussle: New Twist As Kogi Accuses Dangote Of Plans To ‘Cause Chaos’, Doctor Documents

The tussle between the Kogi State Government and the management of the Dangote Group over the ownership of the Obajana Cement Plant took a new dimension on Saturday.

This was as both parties insisted that the plant belonged to them.

Controversy had broken out on Wednesday when some officials of the Kogi State Government allegedly moved to seal the cement plant, claiming that it belonged to the state.

Governor Yahaya Bello had on Thursday said the state government would be ready to negotiate with the company once the firm was ready to admit that the plant belonged to the state. However, the company still insisted that the cement plant was 100 per cent theirs.

Dangote Group, in a statement, had said, “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.”

However, the state government accused the cement company of distorting the facts and vowed to recover accrued dividends from profits made over the years by the Dangote Group, including accrued interests on the same.

The government on Saturday said it had uncovered certain plans by Dangote Group to “cause chaos across the state as a counter-attack against the decision to get its own legally-supported equity from Obajana Cement Company.”

A statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said the latest strategy “stems from frustrations occasioned by the failure of the Dangote Group to misinform the general public and its shareholders as the state government has consistently and continuously presented the facts of the matter to the public.”

He said a top management staff of Dangote Group called a top government official as a meeting was ongoing to hatch their plans against the state.

The call was reportedly made at 10.06 pm and went on for 28 minutes and 12 seconds. Fanwo said the official detailed how the company intended to doctor documents to prove they owned the cement company 100 per cent.

However, Dangote Group, in a statement said the state government used vigilantes to inflict “enormous damage” on the plant staff and factory in Obajana on Wednesday during the alleged “invasion”.

The statement by a member of the Dangote’s media team, Mr Sunday Esan, was titled, ‘Kogi Government vigilantes inflict enormous damage on Dangote Cement in Obajana’.


Esan said, “Destruction of the company’s assets, wounded staff from gunshots, and violation of the fundamental human rights of staff and commuters are some of the fallouts from the invasion of the Dangote Cement Plc by Governor Yahaya Bello’s extra-judicial forces popularly referred to as ‘Government Vigilantes or Government Hunters’.

“Over 500 government vigilantes invaded the Dangote Cement Plant located at Obajana on Wednesday at the behest of the state governor and forcefully shut down its operations.

“Cement trucks were also burnt, and many others were vandalised, as they forcefully hijacked Dangote buses and vans. Market and business activities have been brought to a standstill since the attack.

“No fewer than 27 Dangote staff are currently in bad conditions after they were shot at by the invaders.”

Esan also noted that a 45-year-old staff member, Mr Tijani Mukhtari, was now battling for his life following the attack as he was slated for an emergency surgery to remove the pellets lodged in his body.

Another staff member in the transport section of the Dangote Cement Plant, Aminu Sarki, 43, was said to have been shot in the leg and was in critical condition.

Source: Punch

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