Okomu oil Palm Company Did Not Block the Road leading to the Community but dug a trench round its plantation to forestall theft of over ten tons of Banga daily.
A source close to the Management of Okomu oil Palm company, in Ovia South West local government area of Edo State who disclosed this to newsmen during an investigation on the recent protest embarked upon by the Maroghioba Community, popularly called ATP said their protest was unnecessary because the company decided to dig the trench round the plantation due to the daily theft of palm products.
It was learnt that over fifty tons of palm products are stolen through the nearby ATP community and in a bid to stop this trend, the company made the trench to protect their banga products from being stolen, but in their reaction the community protested that the trench was blocking their assess road to some parts of the community.
But when Journalists and security agents led by the DPO visited the community it was observed that the road they complained about was not blocked
A former security officer of the company who is the acting Odionwere of Maroghioba Community, Chief Gabriel Okhuelegbe told the Divisional Police Officer, Bamidele Ade and newsmen that they are ready for quick resolution of the issues.
According to him, it was a peaceful protest to alert the management of the company that the trench blocked their road to the primary and secondary school, Catholic Church and other villages.
While commending Okomu Oil Palm Company for their assistance to the community, the Odionwere who was flanked by the Community Chairman, Peter Eghose and other leaders, said though there are no government presence in the area but the company has provided some basic amenities like water, town hall, market, chairs and tables for the town hall
“We would be very happy if a joint security network is setup to ensure that there is adequate security around the plantation because some time ago we made sure that nine persons caught stealing were jailed last year.
“We have made several appeals to the government to assist us with electricity, roads, health centers and a secondary school” he added.
The DPO advised the protesting community to remain calm and go about their duties as law abiding citizens until the issues are resolved.
The Nigerian Observer gathered that the Enogie of Udo has also setup machineries in motion to resolve the issues at stake which he described as a breakdown in communication between the community and Okomu Oil Palm Company.
According to a source, the company has a right to protect its plantation and the community cannot dictate on how this can be done because the trench to prevent theft is on the land of the company and the road to their community was not blocked