The Okomu oil Palm company, in Ovia South West local government area of Edo State has condemned the protest embarked upon by the Maroghioba Community, popularly called ATP over the trench dug by the company round the plantation
According to a management source of the company the protest was unnecessary because the oil palm company decided to dig a trench round the plantation due to the daily theft of palm products and the road leading to the community was not blocked
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 dig 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.
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 the protesting community are ready for quick intervention to resolve the issues.
According to him, it was a peaceful protest to alert the management of the company that the trench has blocked their road to 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 and chairs.
“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 set in machineries moves to resolve the protests which was due to a breakdown in communication between the community and Okomu Oil Palm Company.
According to the company source, they have every 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