okomuBENIN CITY – The Okomu Oil Palm Company Limited, Benin City has raised alarm over the constant burning of its plantation, as well as harassment, threat to life and kidnapping of workers, wives by the neighbouring okomu-Ijaw Community in the recent time.
The company’s Human Resources Controller (HRC), Ikponmwosa Osunbor alleged whom our reporter visited the company’s plantation said that following the recent attacks. “The reason for the act was unknown, though they keep demanding for ransom, despite all we have done for the community”.
According to him, despite the developmental projects executed in the community, some of the youths have resorted to crippling the company with the burning of its palms plantation, claiming that the land occupied by the company belonged to the Ijaws and not Edo people.
“They even asked us to disregard the Odionwere of the community while they kidnapped two of our workers’ wives who they later released”, Osunbor said.
He said the community which is 12 kilometre away from the nearest boundary between it and Okomu Oil Company has benefited in the areas of projects, including water borehole, schools, town hall, market, skill acquisitions, bursary and school materials like books for students.
The HRC wondered why the Ijaw community which is not part of the host communities could benefit immensely from the company, yet resort to violent attack on the company and its workers.
He pointed out that effort by the company to resolve the matter with the community youth failed as the youths were not ready to sheath their sword for settlement.