As the ownership tussle between the Kogi State Government and the Dangote Group lingers, the Yahaya Bello administration has noted that the controversial cement factory will remain under lock until there is a workable solution while asking the business conglomerate to shut down it’s operations within the next 48 hours.
In a press statement released on Thursday by Kingsley Femi Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, the government also ordered the immediate release of all Dangote trucks impounded across the state, saying this will allow the innocent drivers caught in the unnecessary battle to go about their legitimate business without hindrance.
Explaining that the factory has to remain shut in order not to allow the Dangote Group shortchange the state of it’s legitimate earnings, the commissioner noted that Governor Yahaya Bello is grateful to the people for their cooperation and wishes to thank them for their resoluteness in the ownership impasse. He however urged the people to remain civil, law abiding and give room for constitutionalism, despite that the State Government recognises their rights to peaceful protest as witnessed across the state.
He wrote: “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 has attracted scores of investment giants to the state in the last seven years”.
Fanwo added that the governor has urged the management of Dangote Group to ensure that the Cement Factory at is shut down within the next 48 hours in honour 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 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. When our people come together like we are now, all we can do is win”, the statement reads.