Gunmen on Thursday, reportedly attacked Okomu Oil Palm Company in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, barely a day after two suspects were paraded by the State Police Command over their involvement in a February 1 attack in which two staff were killed and 90 hectares of the company’s rubber estate and three excavators were burnt.
The company’s Communication officer, Fidelis Olise, who disclosed this yesterday, said the gunmen had earlier carried out attack on Tuesday, making it two attacks in the three days.
Describing the gunmen as terrorists, Olise said they carried out the latest attacks in retaliation of the arrest of two of their supposed members.
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“The same terrorists, seemingly angered by the arrest of two of their supposed members carried out further attacks on innocent workers on the Okomu Oil Palm Company’s property to avenge the arrest of their accomplices who apparently confessed to the theft of rubber. They were arrested by the Marine Police on a boat after it had left the Okomu Ijaw Community on its way to Delta State.
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“The killing of innocent workers who are performing their legitimate duties and have no conflict or disagreement with any person is strongly condemned and the powers that be should immediately take action against those terrorists responsible for these murderous crimes.
“Attacks on companies like Okomu, are also a serious note for concern as it seems that terrorists are now focusing on these types of establishments, intent on bringing them to their knees, and in so doing creating an environment that could show the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Government as weak. It also poses a great threat to current and future investments in Edo State and Nigeria as a whole, especially the agricultural sector, which is the focal point of diversification of both the Obaseki and the Buhari administrations.
“The time has come for the Buhari and Obaseki administrations to take concerted and decisive actions against these terrorists, otherwise investment in the agricultural sector will be greatly discouraged just as was the case with pipeline vandalization in the past, with the resultant negative effect on livelihoods and revenue accruing to both state and federal government coffers.”