The Government of Kogi State on Friday said it would drag Dangote Cement Plc to court and reclaim what rightfully belongs to the people.
The decision to go to court was taken at an emergency meeting on Thursday night between key government officials, led by Governor Yahaya Bello, and stakeholders representing the different ethnic groups in the state.
A statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said that, at the meeting, which ran into the early hours of Friday, all stakeholders resolved to head to court in the interest of the people and generations to come.
He said the Governor made it clear to the House that there was no going back on the state’s resolve to reclaim its asset, even while he sued for calm in the interest of peace.
His words; ‘This struggle is not about Governor Yahaya Bello or his administration. It is about the people of Kogi State. In the last 72 hours, well-meaning Nigerians, leaders and government officials have waded in and have pleaded with the Governor to consider reopening of the plant while discussions are ongoing.
‘The expectations of the over 4 million Kogites are clear and high and we want to assure them that the Governor and the Government of Kogi State will not compromise the interest of the people of the state to reclaim their rights in the cement company.
‘There were series of high-powered meetings to resolve the impasse, including meetings having the governor and Alhaji Aliko Dangote in attendance. Discussions were held and statements of interest were established. But there was no agreement yet as some desperate parties are trying to promote in the media to mislead the public. We shall be non-violent in our approach as we are sure of green pathways to success for the people in this battle for the economic future of our dear state.
‘However, we maintain that the collective asset of the people of Kogi State must be protected and reclaimed in this instance. And that is the process the government has started. We will fight this battle to the end until we get justice from the courts. No committee can resolve this dispute,’ the statement said.
The back and forth between them has continued to generate reactions among Nigerians.